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The aim is to raise the major issues involved in contemporary policing at the local level and the specific form they take in Brussels. These include the quality of relations with the population and police authorities, receptiveness to local expectations and specificities (especially at neighbourhood level), cooperation between police forces and between the police and other actors or institutions, and the profile and working conditions of police officers. In this respect, the characteristics of Brussels constitute a series of challenges for the police, whether relating to the fragmented nature of the territories in question (region, police zone, municipality and neighbourhood), to the sociodemographic and economic, institutional and political (if not inter-Community), organizational and professional realities or even to recent events. The presentation will be based in particular on the results of research in policing practices during the past 20 years.

Sybille Smeets is a lecturer at the ULB's Faculty of Law and Criminology.