"Police should file complaints against violent members of the public"

Belgium's biggest police trade union has called on police officers not to hesitate and file a complaint against members of the public if they are attacked verbally or physically. The union's Vincent Houssin says that in this way perpetrators will be obliged to appear in court.

Several police zones have recently reported an increase in violence directed against officers. The number of complaints about violent behaviour by police officer, however, has fallen.

Vincent Houssin: "There has been a number of incidents recently: people driving their vehicle into a police car on purpose. This boils down to premeditated manslaughter."

The union believes that police officers should more readily file a complaint.

Vincent Houssin: "Afterwards it often appears that perpetrators are not obliged to appear in court or enjoy a mild sentence. In this way you guarantee that the perpetrator appears in court."

"Also in neighbouring countries we've noticed a drop in respect for law enforcers. Justice is failing if perpetrators remain unpunished. This is the wrong signal."

Dedicated magistrates who will collect all similar complaints are in the pipeline as well as courses teaching "How to deal with violence".