Bart Debie is a former police officer in Brussels. We have reported previously on the politically-motivated prosecution that ended his police career, and have also featured his own account of his treatment at the hands of the Belgian authorities.
Bart’s experience with the police force in Brussels gives him an insider’s view on the situation there. Below is his report on the no-go zones that have developed in immigrant areas of the city.
No-Go Zones in Brussels
by Bart Debie
In Brussels, several neighborhoods have turned into no-go zones for police officers. Neighborhoods where they can hardly patrol without being pelted with rocks, without being attacked, or without their police vehicles being wrecked. Unsurprisingly, 80% of the people who live in these neighborhoods are of Islamic origin. More often than not, the aggressors are underage.
Police inspectors claim that in several neighborhoods two patrol cars are needed for every intervention. One to carry out the assignment, and another one to prevent the first patrol car from being wrecked. Many police officers avoid these notorious immigrant neighborhoods. Last week a young immigrant was arrested after he stole a car, ran it into multiple police vehicles and tried to run over a female police officer. He admitted the facts and even acknowledged that he tried to kill the police officer. The Belgian court let him go. The female officer suffered severe injuries and will be out for months.
Arrested 145 times, no sentence whatsoever
A Belgian court of law is not an ally of the police officers. Brussels’ policemen have declared in a Flemish magazine that immigrant criminals are arrested dozens of times for armed robberies, car thefts, drug trafficking, etc. Each time, the Public Prosecutor orders their release within a few hours after the arrest. The criminals laugh at the police. One police officer claims he knows a young offender who has been arrested 145 times, but has not spent one minute in jail.
Politics protect offenders
According to the Brussels police officers, they do not receive any support at all from local politicians. In the notorious districts, most mayors belong to the Walloon Socialist Party (PS). When officers are attacked or shot at and ask for reinforcements to be sent, they are always ordered to retreat. One of the officers says: “The mayors do not like the strong approach. In Vorst, Sint-Gillis, or Anderlecht: it is everywhere the same. It is all about votes. In these neighborhoods, 70% to 75 % of the inhabitants are Islamic immigrants. The elections are about one thing only: which party makes sure my child is not sent to jail when he steals a wallet? Well, the PS does that. For many years now!
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Instead of dealing with these crying abuses and reprimanding the Belgian courts, Belgian politicians react as usual: they criticize press leaks. Whoever dares to denounce the Belgian hush-hush policy has to be punished! In the meantime, Brussels’ officers who want to do their jobs are being constantly intimidated by the police department’s Internal Affaire and Comité P, which investigate every complaint against the officers. They are questioned for hours as if they are the real criminals.
The young immigrant criminals charge the officers with racism almost every time they are arrested. As a consequence, many officers resign, become ill, or suffer from depression. The number of suicides in the Belgian police force is also higher than in neighboring countries.
Being a police officer in Brussels is no longer a dream job. Nowadays, this profession seems more like “survival of the fittest.”