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Sunday, May 24, 1998 Published at 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK

World: Europe

Belgium to reform police

The Belgian government has announced wide-ranging changes to the judicial system in response to a public outcry over delays and inefficiency in the policeinvestigation of a paedophile scandal.

Demands for reform emerged following the persistent failure of the police to capture an alleged child killer and rapist Marc Dutroux, and his subsequent brief escape.

Among the changes now being put forward is the creation of a unified police force for the whole of Belgium.

An independent council is also being set up to supervise members of the judiciary, who in future will be appointed for fixed terms rather than for life. )

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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