Belgian police to recruit women, immigrants
26 July 2005, BRUSSELS — Belgian police are aiming to recruit a higher number of women and immigrants to boost the representation of both population groups in the federal and local police corps.
26 July 2005
BRUSSELS — Belgian police are aiming to recruit a higher number of women and immigrants to boost the representation of both population groups in the federal and local police corps.
Currently, 30 percent of new recruits are women and about 4 percent are people of immigrant ancestry, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.
But in a new campaign to recruit a 1,000 police agents at both the federal and local level, the police advertisement is devoid of tough-looking men in combat gear.
Instead, the advertisement sketches a woman's features and emphasises skills such as listening and communication. Diversity is the key word in the recruitment text.
The director-general of personnel, Alain Duchatelet, said diversity relates to the recruitment of both women and immigrants.
"For the latter group, we will not apply positive discrimination, but we are entirely busy with specific recruitment actions in immigrant circles," he said.
Police recruited 1,300 agents in 2003, 4.2 percent of which were of immigrant ancestry and 4.4 percent of the 1,000 people recruited last year were immigrants.
Pre-training courses are offered to second and third generation migrants to build up their language skills. Immigrants must have the Belgian nationality in order to become a policeman or woman.
Meanwhile, despite the new focus on recruiting female police, 28 to 30 percent of new recruits to the Belgian police corps are already women, one of the highest rates in Europe, Duchatelet said.
He said the police corps has come a long way since the first women were recruited in 1981, pointing out that 45 to 50 percent of new recruits to the police officer training school are women.
"The higher the level, the greater number of women," Duchatelet said.
There are currently 35,000 people employed by the Belgian police force, 3,500 of them civilians. Women make up 15 percent of the total, 60 percent of the civilian department and just 10 percent of the actual police corps.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news