Federal Computer Crime Unit investigations delayed by staff shortages

Federal Computer Crime Unit investigations delayed by staff shortages
© Belga

The Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU) of the federal police has a large staff shortage, according to a story published in De Standaard on Friday. Normally 44 people are required, but only 13 currently work there. The association of investigating magistrates says that the lack of personnel delays many investigations.

“This staff shortage has consequences for current cases,” says Philippe Van Linthout of the Association of Investigating Judges. “We need people who can conduct very complex investigations in very complicated cases and who are very well versed in all aspects of IT technology. Many investigations are obstructed because a team is set up and then reduced by half, after a while. Other countries sometimes have a team of ten persons. We sometimes have only one policeman. Of course that’s not good, not only for our image, but because we simply need people.”

Why is it not easy to find staff for the Computer Crime Unit? “One reason I can imagine is that these people have to work very hard, and if the private sector then presents them an opportunity that pays better, under those circumstances very good people suddenly disappear,” says Van Linthout. 

In response to the article in De Standaard, Home Secretary Jan Jambon (N-VA said recruitment for the FCCU is being accelerated and improved on the basis of a review by consulting firm KPMG, which has just been completed. Jambon (N-VA) said further that he is working on a structural solution. For example, a job day will soon be organised.

“The police are indeed looking urgently for ICT specialists, which is a bottleneck profession,” says a spokesperson from Jambon’s cabinet. The budgets for recruiting people are there. The police are working on creative campaigns, for example in the context of a job fair on disruption and security that will be held on 19 and 20 December in Square Brussels Convention Centre.

Arthur Rubinstein
The Brussels Times

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