"Traffic fine money used for loo paper"

The cash raised by traffic fines imposed in Belgium ends up in the traffic safety fund.  The cash is then handed on to the country's various police zones and is intended to fund actions to promote road safety.  In Limburg though some of the money is allegedly being used to buy loo paper and garden furniture!

Police commissioner Jean-Pierre Vansimpsen revealed the unsavoury practice in the Borgloon area following an internal audit: for Borgloon we're talking about 600,000 euros.  The money ends up in general means and is used for loo paper, a lawnmower and garden furniture.  We also pay two employees."

The commissioner first raised the issue in 2012, but insists that most of the local mayors prefer to brush it under the carpet.

Els Robeyns, the Mayor of Wellen, rejects the criticism: "I regret that a commissioner who has been taken off active duty is settling accounts with the rest of the service by spreading lies and negative information."

Acting police chief Rohnny Maes doesn't see what the problem is: "We invest a lot in road safety.  One year expensive speed camera equipment is needed.  The following year far less cash is needed."

An interior ministry source insists that the cash may never be added to the general means fund and must be reserved for road safety initiatives.

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