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“They are supposed to let suspects go free”, “they react with aggression because they fear for their own safety”. An expert on the French police

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Superiors tell French police officers “not to prosecute people who do not stop for inspection,” said homeland security and police expert Dr. Mathieu Zagrodzki. “They want to avoid riots, which are very common locally,” he added. According to him, French police officers “often react with aggression, because in difficult districts they fear for their safety.” – Violence is increasing. It’s a vicious circle, he said.

For several days, the French police struggled with riots that broke out in the streets of many cities after Nahel M. was shot dead at the end of June. The 17-year-old died when the police stopped him for breaking traffic rules. According to the police version presented at the beginning, the officer used the gun because the teenager wanted to run him over; However, this is contradicted by the recordings of the event, the AFP agency noted.

The riots started in the suburbs of Paris and then spread to other cities – including Lyon, Dijon, Lille and Toulouse.

Doctor Mathieu Zagrodzki from the Parisian Center for Sociological Research on Crime and Criminal Institutions referred to these events.

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Mathieu Zagrodzki on the riots

“When there is tension in a particular department or city, superiors order policemen to exercise restraint and tell them not to prosecute people who do not stop for inspection,” he said. – They want to avoid riots, which are very common locally. Police officers talk about it and feel like between a rock and a hard place, not knowing what to do. On the one hand, they have to fight crime, on the other – they have to let the suspects go free – he explained. He referred to information obtained from the Grenoble police.

The police intervened during a demonstration in MarseilleSebastien Nogier/PAP/EPA

– I believe that the current riots will not change much and there will be no deep reform of the police – assessed Dr. Zagrodzki. “In a week or two, the media will start talking about fires in the south Franceabout the climate and that there is not enough water. There are many vacancies in the police force, more positions than applicants. President Emmanuel Macron announced an increase in the number of police officers by ten thousand, but with the current salaries in the police there are not many applicants, the expert added.

READ ALSO: Who was Nahel, a 17-year-old shot dead by the police in Nanterre >>>

France is dealing with a wave of riots following the death of 17-year-old Nahuel PAP/EPA/MOHAMMED BADRA

Low salaries of young policemen

Depending on the length of service, the salaries of officers vary from EUR 1,800 to 3,000 on average, reaching more than EUR 5,000 at the end of a police career. For such remuneration, a young officer is not able to support himself in Paris or any other large city, explained Zagrodzki. – Police officers jointly rent flats or rooms in the suburbs, where it is cheaper, or they receive social housing from the mayors, if this is the policy of a given city – explained the expert.

Protests in FrancePAP/EPA/YOAN VALAT

Riots in Paris after 17-year-old Nahel M.PAP/EPA/JULIEN MATTIA

ALSO CHECK: Hundreds protesting in the streets of Paris against police violence. Despite the ban >>>

“After the terrorist attacks in 2015, there was a wave of young people who wanted to join the police to serve the Republic and defend the values ​​of France, but that has passed,” he added.

Vicious circle of violence

– Police officers feel that their situation is extremely difficult. They often react with aggression, because in difficult districts they fear for their safety. Violence is increasing. It’s a vicious circle. We have cases of attacks on off-duty policemen, even on policewomen with small children. 10-15 years ago, this would have been unthinkable.

Riots and clashes with the police in ParisPAP/EPA/MOHAMMED BADRAEPA

– Officers are now afraid to publish their photos and photos of their families on social media, so as not to be recognized by criminals or rioters – added Zagrodzki.

The French police employ 145,000 people, including almost 120,000 police officers. About 100,000 officers are employed by the military police, which mainly patrol smaller towns and rural areas.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/YOAN VALAT

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