Internal report damns Belgian police
23 June 2004
BRUSSELS – A report by the Belgian police’s own internal investigation service has revealed shocking levels of racism, intimidating behaviour and abuse of power among the country’s law enforcement officers, it was reported on Wednesday.
According to La Derniere Heure newspaper, Belgium’s ‘police for the police’, the so-called Comite P, found that complaints against police officers rose by 25 percent between 2002 and 2003.
The increase is the highest ever registered since the Comite P was set up ten years ago, the newspaper added.
In 2003, Comite dealt with 1,786 complaints against police officers compared with 1,428 in 2002.
In 1999 the internal investigation service dealt with just 485 complaints.
In other words in four years complaints against the police have risen by over 70 percent, La Derniere Heure said.
Worryingly, argued the newspaper, the largest number of complaints against police from ordinary citizens came from people living in areas with large immigrant populations including central Brussels, the Brussels commune of Schaerbeek and Antwerp.
In 2003 the Comite P investigated 37 cases of threatening behaviour by police officers, six cases of racism and xenophobia and 19 of defamation.
The Comite also investigated 538 cases of alleged police violence and 132 cases of arbitrary arrest and detention.
The 2003 report even found that the number of thefts committed by police officers, while very small, is rising.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news