Jonas Roosens

One in five Antwerp police bullied

Nearly twenty percent of staff members at Antwerp police say that they were bullied at work during the past year.  In the research undertaken by Leuven University some Antwerp police staff indicate that it was their boss that was responsible for the bullying.  The research suggests that similar figures are reached at police forces across the nation.

Researcher Jeroen Maesschalk concedes that twenty percent is quite a high rate.  Ten percent of Antwerp police staff said that they had been bullied on at least three occasions during the past year.  Mr Maesschalk adds that the figures are not exceptional and are mirrored across Belgian police zones and in similar organisations.  He argues in favour of highlighting the fact that everybody can approach a special co-worker who has been appointed to talk to people who are being bullied in confidence. "Just because it's widespread doesn't mean we should not take it seriously” Mr Maesschalk adds.

Police union NSPV is surprised by the figures and is demanding action.  NSPV's Luc Goos says this cannot be ignored.  He wants to see an action plan to tackle the issue of pestering at the police.