From 1 to 15 November, about 1,000 Belgian cops have planned to not issue fines due to road offences.
Policemen across the whole country have decided to participate in this action, which has been set up by a Facebook group which gathers more than 20,000 cops.
To be clear, this is not meant to be seen as an incentive to exceed the speed limit or to be found guilty of a road offence. It is a social and political action which consists in not issuing a ticket for those who have inappropriate behaviors when they drive. The drivers will however be advised on the proper and correct ways to drive. This is what Pascal Rombaux, a member of the ‘Police Unifying Movement’ Facebook group, told Belga last Wednesday.
What’s the point of such an action? “The point is about making the State out of resources. Because nobody wants to listen to us,” he added. The cops complain about the work conditions they face. They particularly question the permanent status they have had since 2001. “We’re the only servants for whom the salary scales have not been increased since 2001,” Manu Vervier told DH on 18 October. They would also like to see a reform of the pension and healthcare systems. These demands are part of the problem, and a list of all of their concerns has been sent to Jan Jambon, the Federal Minister of Home Affairs.
The ‘Police Unifying Movement’ is quite specific as it has been framed out of the unions’ actions, as many cops find them useless when it comes to planing actions. The unions are quite skeptical with regard to this movement, as it could compete with them on the field of claims.
“There are some good ideas in this group but I have also red many bullshits,” said Thierry Belin, Federal secretary of a union.
There is an action taking place at Grand Place in Brussels at 11.00 am on 15 November by gathering dozens and dozens of policemen to “celebrate the King in a great protest of the Michel’s government”.
However it seems that negotiations are ongoing to find a more adequate place.