“Surely, this isn’t a police state?”

Head of the federal police Marc De Mesmaeker says that first and foremost Belgian police have taken ‘preventative action’ during the corona crisis.  He points to the wealth of new tasks the police have had to shoulder over the past year and readily admits it was a learning process for all.

Speaking on VRT’s ‘De Afspraak’ TV show the police chief radically rejected any suggestion that the police had interfered too intrusively into the everyday lives of Belgians and by extension foreign residents too.  Belgium is not developing into a police state, he says.

“We are about to issue the 200,000th charge sheet for an infringement of corona measures.  If you consider the timeline starting in mid-March this works out at around 750 charge sheets a day.  Belgium has 185 police zones.  That means around 4 or 5 charge sheets per zone.  Surely this isn’t a police state?”

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