“We need more modern weaponry”, the President of the SLFP Police union Vincent Gilles said on Saturday, when talking about the new calibre bullet police officers will be given in the near future. “This change concerns collective weaponry” that moves between departments, and not officer’s handguns, the union said.
“The terrorist threat and the type of weapon being used during attacks, especially the one in Paris, made us realise that our collective weaponry was not good enough” the Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon told Mediahuis on Saturday.
Since then, it has been decided that local and federal forces will soon have access to “a new more specific calibre that can be used with different types of weapons”, says Vincent Gilles. “Police departments and Federal police units have requested permission to use a calibre similar to the 5.56mm one NATO uses, which is more powerful”, he said. The higher calibre also allows repeated rapid fire, among other things. The SLFP says “police officers need more modern weaponry”, and this multi-use calibre bullet will help provide that.
Vincent Gilles also said that “these collective weapons are a big plus”, but syndicates think “the most urgent priority” is updating officer’s handguns, as every officer carries one. The ammunition police use for these weapons is now considered “unsatisfactory” and not powerful enough”. There have been negotiations on the subject, which ended seven months ago. The calibre used with the handguns will also be changed to adapt to the current situation in the field.