Almost 2,000 extra police on the beat
23 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Almost 2,000 extra police officers are patrolling Belgian streets since the current federal government took office.
23 November 2005
BRUSSELS — Almost 2,000 extra police officers are patrolling Belgian streets since the current federal government took office.
With the recruiting of 252 soldiers to strengthen police zones at the start of next year, an interim report can be drawn up stating that 1,915 extra police officers are now on the beat.
Mid-term, it means the government is well on the way to meeting its initial target of 2,500 police by the end of its term in office. The target was raised at a national security summit last year to 3,200.
The coalition government had earlier promised to reduce administrative duties for police and this reduction is the main factor in the increased police presence in public areas.
Besides the military recruits, non-uniform personnel are taking over a large amount of police paperwork, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Wednesday.
Interior Minister Patrick Dewael ordered local police zones that by 2009, 16 percent of their personnel must be made up of civilians.
Currently, about 20 percent of police work hours are consumed by administrative duties.
The federal police force has been instructed to have 27 percent civilian colleagues because it faces greater administration problems.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news