Jonas Roosens

Ten officers quit Antwerp Police Support Drugs Team

Ten officers have quit the Antwerp Local Police Service’s specialist drugs team. Tuesday’s edition of the daily Gazet van Antwerpen reports that the relatively high number of police officers quitting the team has come about as a result of them having lost confidence in their superiors. Speaking in VRT Radio 2 Antwerp’s ‘Start je dag’ Luc Goos of the police union NSPV said that “authoritarian leadership, favouritism, differences in shift patterns…, in shop a lot of internal problems” are at issue.  

There is currently a lot of discontent among officers at Antwerp’s Drug Support Team "Four officers approached those that lead the team to raise the issues with them. However, this blew up in their faces as they were pushed aside. Then 6of their colleague said that they no longer wished to function in the team. The have been given other posts within the service”.   

The union says that there is a breach of trust. "Before the summer holidays there were already issues with the authoritarian leaderships of those in charge. The attitude was ‘if it doesn’t suit you there are plenty of positions elsewhere in the service”.

As a reaction to the large number of officers quitting, an organisation coach has been taken on and a leadership course has been drafted for those in charge of the drug team.  

However, Mr Goos says that this is bizarre as the “The way in which Chief Commission Serge Muyters has handled this is beyond belief” as he has decided not to involve the internal prevention service in the investigation.

He adds that this gives the impression that authoritarian leadership is being rewarded.  

The union intends to raise the issue during the next meeting of the Police Consultative Commission.   

The Green Party that is in the opposition on Antwerp Council has asked for an explanation about the issues at the Drugs Investigation Team.