Police unions threaten “fine-free week”

The unions that represent Belgian police officers are threatening to instruct their members not to issue any on the spot fines next as part of their continuing action against proposed changes to their pension term.

According to a report in Friday’s edition of the daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad’, police officers across the country will refuse to issue fines all next week if talks between their union representatives and the two men in charge of forming a new federal government Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) and Kris Peeters (Flemish Christian democrat) this weekend draw a blank.

During the summer, the Constitutional Court ruled that in future police personnel will not be able to before the age of 62. However, transitional measures for those that are affected by the rules have not been drawn by the coalition negotiators.

Last week 14,000 police officers marched through the streets of Brussels and further action next week is on the cards, if the federal coalition negotiators don’t come up with a solution.

Vincent Houssin of the Liberal Trades Union told the VRT that “One of the possibilities is a fine-free week. We would ask our member to wherever possible issue warnings rather than fines.”

However, even if there were a “fine-free week”, it would only apply to minor offenses. Speed cameras would still be in use and serious traffic offences would still be punished with a fine.