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About Committee P
Introduction

Mission

An external monitoring body that oversees
the overall working of the police

Committee P is an independent and neutral body that assists the legislature in overseeing the activities of the executive.

Committee P acts as an external body, with respect to both the executive (ministers, mayors, police boards, etc.) and the police (federal and local police, special inspection services, etc.), and is responsible for monitoring the overall working of the police and policing by all officials involved in police, inspection and monitoring activities. This specific task means that Committee P is the only external and general monitoring body overseeing the working of the police and special inspection services which is also an independent body. Nonetheless, Committee P is accountable to the Special Committee charged with providing parliamentary support for Standing Committee P. To this end, its tasks include sending reports on its inspection inquiries to the Chamber of Representatives, as well as its annual activity report, which contains general conclusions and recommendations.

Committee P aims to contribute to the smooth functioning of a democratic, ethical and community-oriented police force.
In this context, Committee P focuses particularly on the way in which efficiency, effectiveness and coordination are achieved, and the way in which fundamental rights and freedoms are respected and actively fostered in policing.

With a view to framing its mission, Committee P has developed a mission statement which can be viewed elsewhere on the website.

Continuous attention to how the police respect
fundamental rights and freedoms

History


1990-1991

The following points were at the heart of the Pentecost Plan, a government programme aimed at developing an integrated policy on policing and security:

Coordinating police policy

Reworking crime policy

Making structural adjustments to the working of the police forces and intelligence services

Adopting the law on policing.

In 1991, as part of the Pentecost Plan, the government submitted a proposal to regulate the monitoring of police forces, which became the law of 18 July 1991 on monitoring police forces and intelligence services. It was this law that led to the creation of the Standing Police Monitoring Committee (Committee P).

The monitoring was designed to meet three important goals relating to policing:

Respect for the constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens
Ensuring efficient policing
Coordination of police forces.

From the outset, these goals also formed the cornerstone of Committee P’s work.

2004-2005

The programme law of 27 December 2004 conferred on Standing Committee P a range of additional monitoring responsibilities relating to the surveillance of security services and officers working for state-run public transport companies.

2006

The Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM) was established in 2006. This body is responsible for assessing the threat of terrorism and extremism and is subject to the joint monitoring of Committees P and I.

All the support services - including the State Security Service (Sûreté de l'Etat/Veiligheid van de Staat) and the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Armed Forces, the local and federal police forces and various federal government departments, including Customs and Excise - are required to communicate to OCAM all information obtained when performing their statutory duties which is relevant to the performance of its tasks.

The Committees’ monitoring relates to the protection of the rights granted to citizens by the Constitution, the coordination and effectiveness of OCAM and the way in which the support services meet their obligation to report information.