Violence against Brussels police quadrupled in four years
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    Violence against Brussels police quadrupled in four years

    The study compiled in January 2019 revealed that one in five officers felt that they had been discriminated against and one in four felt they had experienced sexual harassment. Credit: Belga

    The police force of police zone Brussels-Capital-Ixelles has been increasingly confronted with violence against police officers over the last four years.

    Where about 100 reports were made in the whole of 2016, 392 reports have already been made half November 2019.

    “This is a worrying increase of almost 400%,” said Bianca Debaets, a member of the Brussels police council, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. “Between 1 August and 8 September of this year, staff members of the Brussels-Capital Ixelles police zone fell victim to 35 acts of violence, which led to a combined 96 days of being unable to work,” she added.

    “For every act of violence, the police officers involved are unfit for work for three days on average. While they have the task to guarantee the safety of the Brussels’ people, they are being attacked more often both verbally and physically. It is unacceptable and must be dealt with. No officer should be attacked while doing his job,” she added.

    Debaets is a supporter of the implementation of bodycams on officers, which would film police interventions. “We saw with our colleagues in Amsterdam that the percentage of victims decreased from 74% to 57% for serious threats,” Debaets said, reports Bruzz.

    A pilot project will be launched before the end of 2019 in the Brussels-Capital Ixelles police zone. If it is evaluated positively, the project will be extended into 2020.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times