Belgian minister supports zero tolerance for violence against police and firefighters

Belgium's Interior minister Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) supports police union NSPV's call for zero tolerance on violence against police officers and firefighters. The plea comes after yet another tumultuous New Year's Eve.

"We must do everything possible to minimise the number of acts of violence, prosecute the perpetrators and punish them severely," the minister said.

After several cases of aggression against emergency workers on New Year's Eve, the NSPV raised the alarm. "Of course, New Year's Eve only takes place once a year, but it is a recurring problem," said national president Carlo Medo. "Moreover, it has been the case for years that emergency workers are being assaulted. We must continue to resist that."

"A tit-for-tat policy is pressing", the unionist believes. Minister Verlinden agrees. "We owe it to our policemen and firefighters, who work for our safety every day," she said.

Several places in Belgium had a restless New Year's Eve. Firefighters, healthcare workers and police officers were bombarded with stones and flares. In Brussels alone, police intervened 700 times, while 160 people were arrested. Some 30 cars went up in flames.


Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden pictured during a press conference after the Minister's council meeting of the Federal Government, in Brussels, Friday 23 December 2022.

© BELGA PHOTO Nicolas Maeterlinck

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels