Guidelines for complaints against the police (by vredesactie)

Guidelines for making a complaint in relation to police violence. 

Vredesactie finds it important to react on this violence.

A few general guidelines


It is important to describe the facts as objectively as possible. Try to be as detailed as possible in your description of the facts (place, people present, acts by people, ...)

For example:
  • don't write 'they' but specify 'who' and 'what'
  • Describe what happened and not only what a certain officer did to you 
  • Describe all the people that were present
  • pinpoint the facts as precise as possible ('at the base' is not enough)
  • State witnesses that were there

There are three options for people who want to make a complaint:


  1. Make a complaint with the court

    This is the only option that can lead to a judicial investigation and, in theory, to the prosecution of an officer. Making such a complaint is possible in every police office. Don't let yourself be discouraged by possible sighs, every officer has the duty to register your complaint. Do not let them send you to Comité P if this is the kind of complaint you want to make.

    What if in your local police office they refuse to register your complaint?
    Then, you can immediately send it directly to the crown prosecutor. this is their address: 'Parket van de Procureur des Konings, Quatre Brasstraat 4, 1000 Brussel'

    Mention the specific police station that refused to register your complaint and state clearly that they refused this. 

  2. Make a complaint with the general inspection of the federal and local police

    You can make your complaint online at: http://www.aigpol.be/nl/formulaire.htm 
    (more explanation on this here: http://www.aigpol.be/nl/centerframe-plaintes.htm)

    Vredesactie doesn't have any experience with this. The result will at the most be an attempt at mediation. So if you don't want to make a judicial complaint, option 3 is a better alternative then this one

  3. A complaint with Comité P

    Comité P is a parliamentary control-organ, independent from the police. In practice it works relatively good. Comité P doesn't treat complaint about individuals. individual police officers cannot be sanctioned based on a complaint with comité P. They do signal structural problems to the parliament, and base themselves on individual complaints to do so. In that sense your complaint can help comité P to report on a problem to parliament. The result will be more of a political signal.  

    Research by Comité P is suspended as long as a judicial investigation is running; you have to choose between option 1 and 3. 

    Making a complaint can be done online: http://www.comitep.be/complaint/klacht.html

In any case, keep us posted, and send us a copy of your complaint if possible.