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Brussels police officers call in ‘sick’ over excessive workload

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Inside a mosque in London

Inside London Central Mosque. Photo: Tawelsensei.

Dozens of police officers patrolling the Belgian capital’s Brussels West zone, which includes Molenbeek, a district that gained notoriety after the 2015 Paris attacks, have all called in “sick” in a wildcat strike to protest excessive workloads and exhaustion.

Brussels police officers who have been working both night and morning shifts refused to go to work on Friday, citing extremely heavy workloads that have pushed them to the limit.

Twenty-five officers whose night shift starts at 9:30pm local time contacted their commander via WhatsApp all at once to report that they were “sick,” Belgian newspaper De Standaard reported. Police Chief Johan de Becker managed to arrange last-minute replacements, saying: “I understand their concerns, but such actions cannot be tolerated.”

“It’s a move out of anger,” the police chief said, adding that “the officers complain about an excessive workload, notably related to the fight against radicalization.”

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