The French president has written to the police union to underline plans to reform French policing and improve the trust between citizens and law enforcement amid a number of high-profile scandals.
In a letter dated Monday, President Emmanuel Macron spoke of his wish to “personally intervene” in the matter of policing, and announced plans for a security consultation in January.
The letter, cited by the AFP and Reuters news agencies, was written by the president to the Unité SGP Police-Force Ouvrière.
In the letter, Macron describes the need to review both the ways the police operate and their relations with the public.
It is urgent to act to improve the trust between the French and the police forces while also give police and gendarmes the means to meet their commitments and the expectations of our citizens.
The seven reforms concern police training, supervision, resources, video capture of interventions, inspections, and relations with the wider population as well as the media.
The consultation, named the “Beauvau de la Sécurité”, after Place Beauvau, the Parisian square where the French interior ministry is located, will be based on seven reform projects presented by Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin at the end of November.
“I want to move quickly and concretely to improve the conditions for the exercise of a beautiful and essential job, which is keeping the peace,” Macron added.
The announcement comes amid considerable controversy concerning French policing.
In late November, four officers were placed under investigation following the release of footage showing police brutally beating a black music producer in Paris before arresting the battered individual for reportedly not wearing a face mask.
This was preceded by footage of law enforcement forcibly removing migrants from a tented camp in the French capital.
These events came as Macron’s government attempted to push through a controversial security bill that would criminalize the malicious publication of photos of on-duty police officers.
The government eventually dropped the bill, following numerous well-attended protests, and promised to completely rewrite its contents.
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