The overall mission of the General Police Inspectorate consists in the control of the functioning of the Police. This general mission, under the article 3 of the Law about the General Inspection of the Police, can be divided into four areas:
- legality control primarily carried out through administrative investigations (art. 5) and thematic controls (art. 6) ;
- quality control through conducting audits, studies, advice notes (art. 7) and follow-up missions;
- judiciary investigations concerning a Police member, carried out according to the procedures and methods defined in the “Code de procedure pénale” (art. 8);
- disciplinary investigations (art.9) according to the law from July 18, 2018 about the disciplinary status of police personnel of the Police.
In addition to these key missions, the IGP is also involved in control missions, counselling and training courses.
The IGP powers need to be considered in the light of the "European Police Oversight Principles", principles that a control body needs to respect in order to guarantee an independent and efficient complaint system and hence a proper functioning of a responsible and democratic Police.
Limitations to IGP actions
- The IGP is only competent with respect to the Police and its control aims the functioning of the services and activities of Police members.
- The IGP conducts disciplinary investigations against Police members. It remains, however, a prerogative of the General Director of the Police to open disciplinary investigations according to the law from July 18, 2018 about the disciplinary status of police personnel of the Police.
- The IGP does not take decisions on behalf of the General Direction of the Police.
- The IGP does not implement its recommendations, but follows up on the implementation process of the recommendations retained by the General Direction of the Police.
- The IGP does not have the competency to examine complaints about the rightfulness of Police fines in the context of a contravention to the traffic regulations ("Code de la Route"). These complaints should be directly addressed to the agent in charge, the Police or the competent judicial authorities, and this before paying the fine. For reasons of competency, the IGP transfers the complaints that it receives in this context to the General Direction of the Police. The IGP however asks for a copy of the mails sent to the claimant by the Police.
- The IGP does not have the competency to treat complaints with a direct link to ongoing judicial affairs.