‘Huge increase’ in complaints against police, says control committee
Share article:
Share article:

‘Huge increase’ in complaints against police, says control committee

© Belga

Belgium saw a “huge increase” in the number of complaints from members of the public against the police in 2020, according to the committee P, which oversees police matters.

In 2019, the number of complaints received was 2,646. In 2020 the number went up to 3,112 – an increase of almost 20%.

The annual report of the committee, prepared for parliament, describes this increase as ‘huge’.

More cases were closed in 2020 than in 2019 (1,466 versus 1,315). Also this year, we again find that in more than 70% of the final decisions taken, cannot be found to be based on an individual or organisational dysfunction. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the number of deficiencies,” the report states.

Most of the complaints concerned the behaviour of a particular officer, followed by complaint of officers failing to do their job properly or even at all. For example, failin gto turn up at the scene of an incident, or refusing to make a report of an alleged offence.

The reason for the increase in complaints, according to the committee, the the Covid-19 pandemic.

Corona certainly played a role,” said committee chair Kathleen Stinckens on VRT Radio 1 this morning.

We received 500 corona-related complaints in 2020. And those complaints are very diverse. Including the way the measures were enforced, the lack of clarity among the population, the need to stop lockdown parties, whether or not to wear a mask, or respect for social distancing.”

The report does not lay the entire blame on the police, who were after all as unaccustomed to the lockdown measures of 2020 as everyone else.

The various authorities and experts have not always communicated clearly and unambiguously,” the report reads. “A common thread about all of this is the lack of consistency and clarity in the provisions of the ministerial decrees and the associated FAQs of the National Crisis Centre. This left room for divergent interpretations,” The committee suggests.

The Committee P therefore believes that this problem was of a nature as to reduce the willingness among (some of) the citizens to respect the measures, that it also increases the chance of incorrect execution of the tasks by the police services, and that the credibility of the police could suffer as a result.”

Latest news

At least one in seven coronavirus patients suffers from long-term Covid
Six months after becoming infected with the coronavirus, at least one in seven people still show symptoms connected to the infection, varying from ...
Operation Sky ECC: Major arrests and another large scale operation
A major operation took place last night in Belgium as a result of Operation Sky ECC, the name given to an investigation into organised crime that ...
Consultative Committee expected to discuss telework and state of emergency
On Tuesday afternoon, Belgium's Consultative Committee will be meeting earlier than expected to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation. ...
Highest number of new Covid-19 cases recorded since November 2020
The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium is continuing to increase and has now reached levels last recorded in November ...
Prototype test plane crashes in Belgium after pilot ejects
A prototype aircraft crashed on Sunday afternoon in Yves-Gomezée (Walcourt, Namur province) during a test flight, according to several local media ...
EU questions Israeli decision to ban Palestinian NGOs
The Israeli government’s decision on Friday to outlaw six Palestinian civil society organisations operating in the West Bank has caused consternation ...
More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet today
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...