235 complaints against police in enforcement of coronavirus measures
Thursday, 06 August 2020
The P Committee, which oversees police forces, has received 235 complaints since coronavirus (Covid-19) measures came into force, from citizens who felt unfairly treated by the police in enforcing the coronavirus rules, De Tijd reports on Thursday.
The complaints vary, according to spokesperson Nancy Van Barel. “Our analysts see different categories. Some people dispute the findings made by the police. That’s about citizens who are dissatisfied that they were fined for violating a corona rule.”
For example, two weeks ago it became known that a urologist had filed a complaint against the Dilbeek police after he brought a patient who complained of testicular pain to the hospital and the police deemed it a non-essential displacement. The patient was in the back seat when the police stopped the car, but police found the explanation not to be credible.
Other types of complaints involve the “lack of measures the police would have taken,” said Van Barel. “For example, not wearing a face mask and gloves, not using disinfectants, not respecting social distancing.”
The P Committee also received complaints about house entries, where the police can enter a private house on their own to assess breaches of the coronavirus measures. During the lockdown, this was a means of stopping parties and gatherings. The P Committee received at least eight complaints about this. In three cases, the complainant asked questions about the legal consequences of the procedure of entering the house.
“I was not aware of any complaints about the actions of the police,” said Nico Paelinck, the chairman of the Permanent Committee of the local police. “But 235 complaints are not so bad if you know that more than 119,000 infringements have been recorded and that usually 80% of the complaints to Committee P prove to be unjustified.”