Fewer than 60% of Brussels cops are bilingual

Despite a legal requirement to them to be able to be communicate in both French and Dutch 42% of police officers working for Brussels’ 6 local police services are bilingual. The vast majority (98%) of these are unable to communicate in Dutch. Just 2% of the monolingual officers are unable to speak French.  The figures come from the Interior Ministry and appear in an article in Sunday’s edition of the Sunday paper ‘De Zondag’.

Of the 6,288 policemen and women that work for the local police services in the capital 3,648 (58%) are bi-lingual. This is 1% down on a year ago. Then the figures were described as an historic low point.   

98% of all police officers working in the capital are able to speak French.

Barbara Pas of the far-right Vlaams Belang requested that the figures be made public. Ms Pas told journalists that the fact that the percentage of bilingual police officers in Brussels has declined was all the more remarkable given that a Flemish nationalist, Jan Jambon had been Interior Minister during the period between October 2014 and December 2018.    

"He had all he needed to do something about it. However, of the 140 new recruits last year just 18 were bilingual”, Ms Pas said.   

In a reaction on the social media platform Twitter, Mr Jambon writes “Ms Pas ought to know that this falls under the remit of the region and not the Interior Ministry. I have repeated complained to First Minister Vervoort, but he doesn’t recognise that there is a problem”.