Dad fined for playing with kids in front garden: policeman was “bad-tempered”

Belgian justice minister Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat) has conceded that the police sometimes exaggerated when they imposed fines on people flouting corona measures, but he insists that this was matched by an equal number of police officers who were more lenient than they probably should have been when they encountered violations of measures introduced to stem the spread of corona virus.

In recent months Belgian police literally issued thousands of “corona fines”.  This triggered outrage in several quarters.  People felt the fines were sometimes unjustified or “not useful”.

Minister Geens: “When a police service of several tens of thousands of officers is asked to enforce brand new rules without excessively clear instructions, then the rules are bound to be interpreted differently.  You have to live with that.  People who feel they were unjustly fined can have their day in court.”

One case received particular attention: the case of the dad, who was fined playing with children in his front garden.  Mr Geens says: “That police officer must have been dreadfully foul-tempered that day.  I do not believe anybody will insist on the payment of that fine.”

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