When Security is Threatened by Budget

No Money

For a few days, the Belgian ministers started to work hardly on the issue of the 2010 budget. Like everywhere, money is missing. They try to find (good) solutions to present a positive budget and, let’s dream, get some extra revenues. The classic ways to grab more money from the citizens and companies have already been reviewed like increasing the price of fuel, tobacco, company cars, etc.

But this morning I heard something that left me in a strange feeling: Annemie Turtelboom, Minister of Interior, spoke about a possible drastic reduction of the federal police staff. 600 federal police officers who should leave their job (mainly retired) would not be replaced! This in order to reduce costs.

This massive downsizing should affect all the branches of the Federal Police and the FCCU was cited in the first ones! The FCCU (“Federal Computer Crime Unit“) is the police branch in charge of the cyber crime in Belgium. A few weeks ago, an official Belgian CERT was announced. And today, what we received from one hand, will be taken back by the other one. Both (CERT + FCCU) are mandatory and have to work together. How to perform a correct followup of cases with a reduced staff? (Cyber-crime is still growing)

If there was only one budget to keep untouched, this should be the one assigned to security. And I’m not pushing only for the “e-security” but all the missions assigned to the police (protect the people and the goods).

One comment

  1. A few remarks:
    – I may hope our government is working hard (not hardly) or they will have no state of the union?
    – In a period of budget crisis each and every department, or subdivision thereof will try and convince the financer it cannot be done without and thus can not be considered when cutting costs.

    Besides that, I am completely with you that in these modern times cutting hard in security (& safety) costs in this fashion is perhaps not the optimal way to reduce the cost of operations.

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