Belgian police warned that the additional tasks linked to measures against the spread of the coronavirus could reduce time spent on their regular tasks, on Saturday.
Belgium’s authorities have decided to monitor compliance with the measures more strictly, announcing on Friday evening that the police in particular would be tasked with enforcement.
While the police say they will carry out these tasks loyally, they warn against capacity challenges due to the many additional tasks they have received.
“People always look to the police, but we are reaching our maximum,” Nico Paelinck, head of the Local Police Permanent Commission, warned after a meeting of the working group in charge of enforcing Covid-19 measures.
Paelinck warned that due to the additional workload, regular policing, such as activities usually carried out in the neighbourhoods, could be reduced.
The police have also called on other services, especially the national railway company SNCB, and the Flemish health agency, to take up their responsibilities. Paelinck felt the SNCB, for example, should take part in monitoring compliance with Covid-19 measures.