Former Interior Jan Jambon, the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) candidate for the post of Prime Minister, said on Thursday on Radio 1 and Het Laatste Nieuws that he would like to reduce the number of local police zones from 189 to 60 or 70. The reduction, which Jambon said was based on a study by the late University of Ghent criminologist Brice De Ruyver, is one of four security priorities that his party will lay out on Thursday evening at an election event in Genk.
The former minister, who left the federal government in December 2018, also wants improved cooperation between the police and the judiciary. In this regard, he highlights the particular situation of the judicial police, who come under the budget of the Interior Ministry but are managed by the Justice Department.
He does not advocate any one solution, preferring to bring all stakeholders together to come to an agreement, but does not exclude the Dutch model in which the prosecution and police fall under the Department of Justice and Police.
Within the police, the N-VA candidate would like to make the Commissioner General the real head of its services, whereas, in the current dispensation, he has a chief of judicial police and a chief of administrative police below him.
Finally, mayors need stronger power to refuse to grant licenses to business people and proprietors of hotels, restaurants and cafés who are obviously dishonest, Jambon proposed.