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Record number of police misconduct complaints filed in 2018

13:00 10/12/2019

Citizens filed a record number of complaints of police misconduct in 2018, according to new figures from the supervising body of the Belgian police.

The police oversight body Comité P said the number of complaints increased with 8.5% compared to the previous year. In all, 2,965 complaints were filed in 2018. 

This figure includes complaints that were found to be unsupported. Only for 11.5% of the filed complaints did Comité P investigators conclude that police officers committed errors.

Investigations into complaints may also be closed because the concerned police forces had already adopted measures, because the complaints were handled by legal authorities, or because insufficient evidence was found.

The most common ground for complaints was “inaccurate, incomplete, careless or impertinent” execution of a task by police officers. The second most common category of complaints concerned police officers’ “biased or non-neutral attitude, or unequal treatment”.

The new figures were released in the police oversight body’s annual report. The last time such a high number of complaints of police misconduct were filed was in 2013, when 2,885 complaints were lodged.

Photo: Belga / Dirk Waem

Written by Linda A. Thompson