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Belgian government agrees an extra €30 million for police

© Belga

The government has agreed an additional €30 million of funding for the federal police, ministers Pieter De Crem (home affairs) and David Clarinval (public services) announced this morning.

The package of funding agreed by the meeting of government ministers on Sunday is intended to be spent on investment in the force’s motor pool, as well as in computer technology and innovation.

Over the past few months, the police have done a remarkable job of enforcing containment measures on the ground,” said De Crem. “These additional resources constitute a new step in the transition to a more mobile and flexible police organisation that focuses more on a specialised and innovative police service.”

Effective police officers must be able to benefit from modern, high-quality tools to help them carry out their mission,” added Clarinval.

The announcement of the supplementary package comes on top of funding announced on Friday. That consisted of €97 million for local police and €34 million for federal police, to help pay for retirements expected this year, and represents an increased payment of €40 million and €21 million respectively.

The funding is for one year only, and will allow officers over a certain age to take early retirement, to move to a less demanding job or to carry on as normal prior to normal retirement.

The plan foresees the next government with full powers bringing in a longer-term plan. “We are offering future prospects to our police officers as long as no other global pension scheme has been developed,” De Crem said.

The planned spending has to be approved by parliament, where it can expect to meet some opposition, coming at a time when the police force as a whole has been severely criticised for institutional racism – something De Crem has gone further than any of his colleagues in denying outright.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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