Emmanuel Macron wants to both protect the police and the youth. Is it so scandalous?
The President of the Republic is in his role of guarantor of national unity. But I will never let it be said that the police are racist and violent. I know this because I was a police officer for thirty years. We must stop stigmatizing the 250,000 police and gendarmes in our country. As DGPN, I have never had a hand that shakes if a black sheep were to be punished. Gérald Darmanin was right to recall that the police represent 7% of the workforce in the public service and face 55% of all administrative sanctions. The institution is tough on those who slip up. To claim that the IGPN, the police force, is not doing its job is deeply unfair. More than three quarters of its investigations are conducted under the leadership of the prosecution or investigating judges. This is proof of his independence.
More than a billion euros of budget extension for security in 2021, isn’t that a strong sign of recognition?
It’s good news. Apart from the payroll, the police budget has been falling steadily for several years. But this billion will not be enough when we see the impoverishment of our internal security forces. I am asking for a major plan to modernize the police and the gendarmerie over five years – and not just one billion euros – to bring the security forces up to standard and in particular the means at their disposal. I’m talking about police stations, cars, IT, technical and scientific police, bulletproof vests, training and a clarified definition of missions, which remain the essential point.
How do we get out of the eternal suspicion of facies control that surrounds police action?
This expression, I do not make it mine. The police have an intangible framework: they control notorious delinquents and those they suspect of committing crimes and misdemeanors. This is their role under the law. To get out of the suspicion of their action, I see a concrete way: that the ministry finally develop, after much procrastination, the pedestrian cameras fixed on the official’s outfit, to film what he sees, says and hears in intervention. For the moment, the images we mainly have are those provided by people generally hostile to law enforcement. You might as well have a vision that respects the adversarial principle.
And the black blocs, those rabid people that we see resurface at each gathering, how can we overcome them?
Whether in Paris or in the provinces, there is now hardly a demonstration where these radical elements do not come to express their hatred. We have witnessed scenes of urban guerrilla warfare weekend after weekend for the past two years. These people come to destroy. It’s not the protesters. These are rioters who merge into the crowd to come and break the cop. They attack the citizens who come to protest peacefully by discrediting their movement. They also cause repeated attacks on police officers and gendarmes, who are often injured, sometimes seriously. But they are not that many. In Paris, they rarely exceeded a thousand troublemakers. We still need a strong political will to prevent them from harming. Because the police have know-how. You just have to use the full spectrum of your specialties, from intelligence to law enforcement to judicial investigation. On condition, however, that justice follows. The action of Territorial Intelligence is fundamental in order to best adjust the intervention and evidence collection system. No doubt it would take more judicial police officers in the processions to ascertain offenses more effectively. Behind, the sanction must be flawless. It is called state authority.