Minister of the Interior Jan Jambon pointed out that local commanders still have the last word regarding carrying arms while off-duty. The coalition partners had criticized the new measures discussed on Wednesday with the police unions.
CD&V Representative Franky Demon said that he questions the fact that “the Minister can from now on decide during times of particular threats that agents may take home their arms.” This decision should remain the responsibility of the commanders. “They know their people and know whether they can make this decision.”
“The spirit of the royal decree is precisely that the final decision remain with the commanders,” declared Jambon to the cabinet. Discussed particularly was a mode of uniformity for the whole country. “It is indeed very complicated to make quick decisions with 189 police zones,” was emphasized. “The Minister has often said before that we must ask ourselves whether there are too many zones. In the meantime, we are trying to achieve better coordination.”
CD&V also opposes the fact that the measure was not discussed within a select ministerial committee, which is not obligatory for a royal decree.