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Fewer alcohol checks due to terror threat

11:44 20/01/2015

Keeping police agents stationed for hours in the same place to perform alcohol checks is no longer safe since the overall threat level for a terrorist attack in Belgium was last week raised from level 2 (moderate) to level 3 (high) on a scale of 4, said the general commissioner of the federal police in De Standaard.

The general commissioner considers it too dangerous to carry out the checks while the country is at threat level 3, and police agents are a known terrorist target. But he also notes that there are simply not enough officers available to conduct the checks, because they are needed to patrol the streets for the duration of the increased threat level.

“The opinion of the Commissioner General is not an order,” said Marc Hellinckx, Payottenland chief of police. "The different corps commanders can still decide for themselves whether or not they continue to have alcohol checkpoints."

The police unions so far agree with the general commissioner that static checkpoints are too dangerous for the time being.

Written by Robyn Boyle