Hundreds of police officers marched in Brussels on Monday to demand a harsher state response to violence against police officers, as well as better working conditions, RIA Novosti reported.
Police officers came to the rally in civilian clothes, "armed" with placards, union symbols and whistles. Security was provided by dozens of uniformed police officers.
The action began at the North Station in the Belgian capital near the site of a recent incident in which a 29-year-old police officer was the victim.
On Nov. 10, a man attacked a patrol in Brussels with a knife, injuring two police officers. One of them later died from his wounds.
As it turned out, the attacker, a 32-year-old Belgian citizen, was known to law enforcement agencies as a "violent extremist." On the day of the murder he came to the police station and threatened to attack. The man was not detained and was sent for a psychiatric examination in accordance with current regulations.
The Belgian police union, which is organizing Monday's protest, called on the government for "zero tolerance" for violence against authority figures .
"We advocate a tough and adequate approach to all forms of violence against the police. The 'zero tolerance' promised by the government must finally be applied," the organizers of the action said in a statement.
The union also calls on the government to review police compensation and social benefits. "This government promised to make the police profession more attractive. But so far the opposite has happened," the document reads.
"The man in uniform should be respected, and any reconciliation of violence against the police should be severely punished. So far, this is not working," a representative of the police union who participated in the action told reporters.
Previously the media, as well as politicians and activists, on the contrary, accused the Belgian police of being too tough on citizens, especially young people participating in protests.