The measure will also apply to aid workers such as ambulance staff. Justice Minister Koen Geens is preparing a circular to the different judicial authorities in the short term, which will lead to a "zero tolerance for police staff. And we have the same route plan for care and first aid workers, because they are facing similar risks."
Magistrates can impose punishments even with a minimum of evidence. The government has been negotiating with the judiciary for some time, but without any result.
Today, seven youths were convicted after the riots in the Antwerp district of Luchtbal last year. A demonstration against the detention of a young man ended in riots, and youths were seen throwing stones at the police. The judge took the facts very seriously, imposing punishments up to three years' imprisonment.