Police unions incandescent after five officers are attacked in Molenbeek

More details have emerged about the incident on the Gentsesteenweg in Molenbeek on Monday when five police officers were injured during a routine traffic inspection.  One woman police officer was knocked unconscious.  Two other officers had to be taken to hospital with serious injuries.  A further two officers sustained light injuries.

Brussels prosecutors say that during the inspection of traffic by police in Molenbeek a driver failed to produce valid car documents and refused to co-operate.   The officers called for assistance.  The driver acted in an aggressive fashion and attacked the officers with a carjack. One officer was knocked unconscious and had to be taken to hospital with concussion.  Two other officers were seriously injured and had to be taken to hospital too.  All three have now left hospital.  Two other officers sustained light injuries.

The driver fled the scene but could be arrested.

Bystanders were able to film the events that were posted on the Facebook page of police union NSPV.

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The NSPV’s Carlo Medo says the video should be a signal for the home and justice ministers to take action: “For years now violence against the police continues unabated”.

The union wants stiffer and quicker penalties.  People who inflict blows and injuries on police officers and offer armed resistance to officers should appear in court.

The VSOA union too in incandescent: “Police officers are being attacked every day.  It’s time the political authorities stop this. Examples must be set for youngsters in these neighbourhoods.  Acts like these must be punished.”

In a response home minister Verlinden says she understands the indignation of the police unions and of everybody who sees this film: “Violence against the police is totally unacceptable”.

The minister says dealing with violence against the police is a top priority and “we are striving towards zero tolerance for such incidents.”

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