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Belgium Employs Private Security Companies in Operations of Surveillance, Inspection | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Belgian soldier patrols in Brussels’ Grand Place as police searched the area during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks, Belgium, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Brussels- The Belgian Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said that security guards in the country will be allowed to practice some of the police missions like participating in questioning people to verify their identities or to inspect their bags as part of the new regulations adopted by the government concerning the work of private companies.

Discussions took place in the Parliament of Brussels on new solutions to reduce the burden of policemen after the last terrorist attack that took place in Brussels, which targeted an airport and a train station in the capital, killing 32 people and wounded 300 others.

The minister said that the new regulations aim at increasing security measures and that police’s performance will never retreat, but the country will benefit from additional efforts from the private sector in the security field; however, people’s arrest and analyzing cameras’ content will be practiced only by the police, added the minister.

Jambon also said that security guards may be allowed to carry weapons when they are tasked to protect areas near embassies or military headquarters as part of efforts to reduce the police burden.

The association responsible for private security companies has applauded the decision and considered it a step toward an integral security. An official from the association said previous experiences proved that these companies are reliable and that the government can depend on them in national security missions.

According to media outlets, the new plan focused on promoting the training of private security guards and urged companies to wisely choose their possible members.

Since his appointment as an Interior Minister, Jambon has expressed wilingness to expand the authorities of private security guards to allow the police to focus on their main missions.

However, these new authorities will be granted under strict conditions and that the federal government will stress on tough requirements during recruitment and training in the companies of security.