Coronavirus: police receive 'clear' enforcement guidelines

Coronavirus: police receive 'clear' enforcement guidelines
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Belgium's police officers will receive a new "response guide" on how to deal with the measures surrounding the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

Many of the new rules that are part of the Belgian government's far-reaching measures were open to interpretation, Local Police Standing Committee Chair Nicholas Paelinck said last week. Now, the rules will be nuanced, he said in an interview with De Tijd on Friday.

"The intention is to clarify all issues in a note that will be sent to all managers of all police services, both local and federal. And there will be a new 'intervention guide' for all police officers on the street, who will then be able to consult the guidelines via their smartphone," Paelinck said. 

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"With this intervention guide, we want to close all doors," he said, meaning there should be no more room for interpretation. "This is necessary because a lot of police officers from all kinds of services are being deployed at the moment. And citizens are still very inventive with all kinds of tricks to circumvent the corona measures."

Officers will receive a template of what to answer to questions by citizens regarding, for example, non-essential displacements, according to Paelinck.

The reason the guidelines are introduced only now is that "the government's ministerial decision was intended to be sufficiently clear, so that no interpretation was possible." 

"Of course, we will also communicate the new guidelines to the public," Paelinck assured.

The announcement comes after the creation of a task force to unify the enforcement of the far-reaching measures was announced on Thursday by Interior Minister Pieter De Crem.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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