Police and judicial authorities receive more threats

Last year, 47 members of the police force or magistrates were confronted with serious threats. That number is slightly up on 2009. In most cases, they received protection, says the Home Affairs crisis centre.

"There was a small surge in the number of cases last year", says Jaak Raes, the director of the crisis centre. The threats concern mostly police investigators and magistrates who receive serious threats from criminal gangs. "For example, they receive an envelope with a bullet inside, or a message that "they" know perfectly where the children are going to school."

On average, the crisis centre receives one new case every week. "Each of these cases is looked into to decide whether special protection is needed. That allows them to continue their work independently, without having to bear a constant burden", Mr Raes adds. In most cases, special protection is organised, as most threats are found to be serious enough.

Mr Raes explains the increase by changes in society. "People tend to be more violent, showing less respect for the government and its institutions."