“Safety has always been one of this government’s top priorities. The focus on security has be- come even greater as a result of the attacks and terror threats of recent years. We have invested enormously in security, including in the area of technology. Our police services are recruiting and training a record number of people. But the policy on safety and security is more than just about resources. It’s also about ‘culture’. We need a grown-up safety culture. Not blowtorch politics, but a security policy based on research and rational analysis, with a sense of balance.

“No one wants a police state, but at the same time we need to work on exchanging information and detecting signs of things such as violent extremism. And we need to do so in a ‘big data’ society. This will require an alert and adult attitude from government, private players and the general public. That is why I am pleased with the broadening of Vias institute’s field of activities. With programmes such as its ‘BOB’ campaign, the institute has demonstrated that it is firmly in tune with people and knows how to make the most of it. Vias institute’s expertise is also welcome in other areas of safety.

“I hope that in the fight against crime and even against violent radicalisation, the Knowledge centre will be able to take on the same role of bringing people together and making them aware. We need a place where Knowledge can be gathered objectively, a place where security can be analysed in a people-oriented way. Because that’s what we need to aim for: a society in which having a grown-up culture on security and safety is the most normal thing in the world.”

Minister of safety : Jan Jambon