Police agents in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek have to take part in the Ramadan: they may not eat or drink during the day and may not give tickets, internal police sources told Het Laatste Nieuws. This was confirmed by the NSPV police union. A spokesperson for the municipality denies the claims.
Bart Velle, head of NSPV for the Brussels municipalities, says that he's gotten multiple complaints on this issue, for several years now. There is no official memo on the topic. "I get complaints from colleagues about it, and I believe those people. But there's nothing on paper. I have no proof," says Velle.
Velle says he gets such complaints only from Molenbeek, not from other police zones. The measures serves not to stir up emotions during Ramadan, he says.
According to Het Laatste Nieuws, this is a direct order from mayor Philippe Moureaux. Moureaux told that paper that he did not give such orders.
The Molenbeek police had nobody available for comment, but a municipality spokesperson denies the allegations. "It's not true. there's no order to take part in the Ramadan. Agents may not eat or smoke in the street. But that's never permissible." She also denied that there's a ban on giving tickets. "It's wrong to say that [the police] are more tolerant during this period. The agents must give tickets as usual."
The spokesperson says that these claims are repeated every year, and that the municipality has to constantly correct the misunderstanding.