"We've Had Enough!"
An important declaration from the Alliance, one of the major police unions, has appeared at several websites. This version is taken from Linternaute.
"Lack of motivation", lack of means, "suspicion": a thousand police officers from the Parisian region energetically denounced their working conditions and the violence they face in the tough suburbs of Paris last Thursday (September 21), at a meeting of the Alliance, the largest police union.
The end-of-summer meeting was called just as a lively debate was pitting Nicolas Sarkozy, who accused the court of Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis) of "caving in" to criminals, against several high magistrates who in turn denounced the Interior Minister's "offense to the independence" of the judiciary.
During the meeting, several police officers from Seine-Saint-Denis, along with Loïc Lecouplier, the regional leader, denounced the "working conditions that are more and more difficult," the "insufficient employees and materials," and the fact that they are being held accountable, to an excessive degree they feel, by the IGS (the General Inspection of Services, a group that "polices the police"), by judges and by legal associations.
They also criticized "certain magistrates of this department (Seine-Saint-Denis) for their laxness, thus repeating statements made by the department prefect Jean-François Cordet and the Interior Minister...
"Our colleagues have had enough of being attacked...enough of having to explain themselves and justify themselves," declared the national secretary of the Alliance, Frédéric Lagache (pictured).
The general secretary of the Alliance, Jean-Claude Delage, for his part, pointed out that policemen are "assaulted daily, beaten up and used as targets..."
Mr. Lecouplier was cautious when speaking of the 300 new policemen promised before the year's end by Sarkozy...He hopes that "it will indeed be 300 additional positions", and not young recruits just out of school.
He was warmly applauded by the members who expressed unequivocally at the meeting that they have "had enough."
An officer named "L", who wished to remain anonymous, has been posted in Seine-Saint-Denis for eight years. He is now in an anti-criminal brigade (BAC) in La Courneuve:
"We cannot go into the projects and perform any police duty whatsoever without being surrounded and obstructed by individuals who butt in. And for the slightest "hot" intervention on our part, we are called to task by the judges and the IGS.
"So all we can do is intervene swiftly and suddenly, with reinforcements, without making waves, and despite the direct contact with the population," he said.
He confirmed that the policemen in the dangerous neighborhoods, including the supervisors, "are too young" and "have only one wish: to get out."
Out of the six friends who came with him into this department, four have obtained a transfer, he added.
"They expect results...but the groundwork is never done. We've had enough of suspicion, of lack of motivation...and one day, one of us will be killed, that's for sure."
There have been two recent posts relevant to police activity at Galliawatch. The first, on the power of the police unions, the second in the comment section of a post on the attempted attack on Prime Minister Villepin.