At the end of this two-hour meeting devoted to the repetition of gunshots linked to drug trafficking in this town in the west of the capital, the Minister of the Interior pledged to “do everything to strengthen the staff police, also in Molenbeek”.
Catherine Moureaux was rather satisfied with the climate of the meeting: “I think that the minister perceives the urgency of the situation”, she commented. The mayor had come with three demands: the immediate arrival of 20 additional police officers, a commitment to the sustainability of the canal plan (note: which provides for the provision of additional police officers in an area much larger than Molenbeek) as long as it there is no more structural measure to improve police supervision in Brussels; and the inclusion of Brussels in the top priorities, in the context of the allocation of the 60 million additional federal budgetary resources to security.
“The problem in Molenbeek goes beyond the framework of the municipality”
“We were able to exchange without jargon. The problem goes beyond the framework of the municipality, the Region and the country”, commented the mayor.
“We have already made more police resources available since the start of the legislature. If there are others, there will be some in Molenbeek as well” engaged the Minister of the Interior, stressing that there is no there would be no questioning of the canal plan..
Ms Verlinden also pleaded for consultation on the prevention plan with the competent authorities, including with the Brussels Minister-President, responsible for coordinating security and prevention in Brussels.
The minister also insisted on the fact that the federal police did not invest more in Antwerp than in Brussels in the fight against organized crime. “There is no community motivation” in the matter, she said.
According to the head of the West Brussels police zone, half of the 116 police officers planned under the canal plan are currently missing both in Brussels and in the West zone (23 police officers actually present out of the fifty planned ).