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Brussels Parliament debates plan to improve relations between the public and the police

The parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region is debating a resolution put forward by the Flemish socialist SP. A One Brussels parliamentary group the aim of which is to improve relations between the public and the police. The resolution contains at total of 34 proposals designed to avert reoccurrences of events likes that seen last week in Anderlecht. Then police clashed with youths that were protesting against the Judicial Authorities’ decision not to prosecute any police officers that were involved in an operation in April during which a 19-year-old man died when his scooter collided with a police van. 

The Flemish socialist member of the Brussels Regional Parliament Els Rochette told VRT News that the proposals contained in her group’s resolution have long been needed, but the coronavirus crisis and the measures that have been in force to curb the spread of COVID-19 have brought things to a head.

"We have seen that the situation between the police and youths has escalated since the start of the coronavirus crisis. There have been several incidents from both sides. However, the trigger came after the death of Adil during a police chase. This has become topical now the police officers won’t be prosecuted and there are riots in Anderlecht”.

One of the most important of the 34 points contained in the resolution is the aim to recruit more of the capital’s police officers from Brussels itself. 

“Currently 80% of police officers come from Flanders or Wallonia. It is noticeable that knowledge of issues that arise in large cities and the immense diversity in Brussels forms an obstacle. Moreover, youth unemployment in our city is very high. Why can’t we get these young people into the Brussels police services?”, Ms Rochette told VRT News. 

The resolution also calls for more community police officers and extra emphasis on issues surrounding racism as part of police officers’ training. It also states that identity checks carried out by police on members of the public need to be screened to be certain that no ethnic profiling is taking place. 

The resolution will be voted on later Tuesday. 

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