Newspapers of Belgium’s Sudpresse group claim that both mentally and physically Belgian police officers are becoming exhausted as a result of the extra work.
The police trade unions say that this fatigue could have ramifications for the alertness of police officers and are pressing for extra staff to be hired ASAP.
It’s especially in smaller police zones that the extra workload has triggered problems. In larger police zones officers are piling up overtime too and are unable to take leave.
The police unions say that it will not be possible to maintain this higher state of vigilance for the long term: “We can keep this up for a few more days, a couple more weeks if need be” said a spokesman for the Sypol union.
“We’re not calling for the threat level to be lowered” says Vincent Houssin of the VSOA union. “However, it is time that the country’s authorities consider that staff shortages are a major problem.”
The unions claim that Belgian police forces are 3,000 officers understaffed.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica