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Complaints against the police increased during 2020
According to a newspaper report published on Tuesday, 3,112 complaints were filed against police officers in 2020. This is almost 500 more than the previous year.
The Flemish newspaper De Tijd reported that complaints lodged with Committee P, which is responsible for monitoring the police services in Belgium, were up by 15%.
According to the article, the Brussels-Capital Ixelles Zone was the most targeted with 229 complaints (7% of the total). According to Committee P, this is due to the large number of demonstrations that the area has had to manage.
These complaints to Committee P cover different aspects of police work, ranging from an intervention deemed ineffective to excessive violence which results in bodily harm.
The rise in complaints has been attributed in part to the effects of the coronavirus restrictions and the controls that have been carried out to enforce it. This includes the wearing of masks, the respect of social distancing between people or the control of lockdown parties.
It should be noted that after investigation of the complaints, in seven out of 10 cases no individual or organisational complaint has been upheld against the police, De Tijd reported.