High-ranking police chiefs join Vlaams Belang in calls to deploy army in Antwerp

High-ranking police chiefs join Vlaams Belang in calls to deploy army in Antwerp
Credit: Tijs Vanderstappen/Belga.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang were joined by four former high-ranking police chiefs in their calls to deploy the army in the fight against drug-related violence in Antwerp.

Since the death of an 11-year-old girl in Antwerp, caught in the crossfire between two rival drug gangs, Belgium's right-wing parties have all, to some extent, called for installing a military presence in the city.

One of the most prominent proponents of the proposal is Filip Dewinter, Vlaams Belang's leader in Antwerp, who held a press conference near the scene of the crime in Merksem.

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However, he was unexpectedly accompanied by former police higher-ups on Tuesday.

Appearing alongside Dewinter were Kristof Luypaert, a former Brussels commissioner, Daniël Dewulf, former head of the Port of Antwerp's police brigade, as well as Erik Hasaers and Frank Slootmaeckers, two former federal inspectors.

Furthermore, Luypaert personally argued that the current Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever (N-VA), would be legally entitled to bringing in the army as "the military can then be deployed for policing and surveillance missions, including in the port."

In his view, this would result in fewer police officers being called upon, of which "there is a great shortage in the country anyway."


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