“Antwerp police have ordered special police tanks to avoid this kind of thing (i.e. an attack like in Nice)”, Antwerp Burgomaster Bart De Wever has announced. “When we have fireworks in Antwerp, we will close the streets with this kind of tank to avoid someone driving into the crowd.”
At present, tanks of the federal police are taking care of this, but Antwerp will have similar vehicles of its own as from 2017. “We ordered two police tanks and a special intervention vehicle”, De Wever explains. “These are tough obstacles that can’t be moved, and they can resist war ammunition.”
De Wever says that terrorism can never be excluded, “but each event will see the proper measures.”
In a related national police news, the Interior Minister Jan Jambon has announced that Police officers will now be allowed to carry heavier weapons, and to carry these with them at all times.
The machete terror attack in Charleroi, which left two female police officers heavily injured, pushed police unions to demand more measures to step up their own safety. Extra measures include the possibility for police to carry arms 24/7, also in their private life, and heavier guns than the ones they have now. At the same time, a number of other guidelines will be issued to better protect police stations.