EXCLUSIVE - After six months of investigation, a Senate commission unveils "the state of internal security." Grabbing.
In front line to terrorism, the migratory wave and exacerbated violence, police and gendarmes are on the verge of implosion. It is the edifying conclusion that draws up a report "shock" of a senatorial commission of inquiry on "the state of the internal security" and that reveals Le Figaro. After six months of field immersion and some forty hearings, parliamentarians have acquired this conviction: "If the terms used can vary (" discomfort "," malaise "," loss of meaning ") "Demotivation" and "discouragement"), the internal security forces are undoubtedly experiencing a real crisis, which jeopardizes the proper functioning of the public service. "" There is a great danger for the Republic to give the impression that the 'We neglect his internal security,' adds Senator (PS) Michel Boutant, chairman of the commission of inquiry. Even if there is always this passion of the job which is to defend the widow and the orphan, we are witnessing a moral exhaustion, especially in the police, which presents a less cohesive esprit de corps than the gendarmes, protected by their military status. "To provoke an" electroshock ", the report formulates 32 propositions that are as many remedies for evils that the parliamentarians dissect in detail.
● One weekend out of six rest and suicide rate 36% higher than the national average
"With the current work cycles, a policeman spends a weekend on four or five family," or even six, notes the commission, which points "painful and destructuring rhythms." Considering that this "quirky" life is a factor of psychosocial risks, the police are experimenting with a so-called "strong vacation" cycle which allows you to work only one weekend out of two. But its implementation is "very costly in manpower" because it would require "reinforcement between 16 and 33%". Senators conclude: "It would therefore take a total of 3,000 or 4,000 positions to offset the effects of such a reform on operational capabilities." That's more than half of the 7,500 recruits promised by Emmanuel Macron over the five-year period! In search of oxygen, the institution suffers. Those are besides abnormally high suicide rates in the police, 36% higher than national average, but also in the gendarmerie that were behind the creation of the commission of inquiry. "The police and gendarmerie have mobilized," notes the report, which states that "with 82 positions of psychologists, the service of operational psychological support of the national police (SSPO) is the most important device in France". To reduce the risks, two hours of weekly sports are planned. But, according to the agents, they can not be carried out, for lack of available staff.
● Cars that "fail, no siren"
From a material point of view, senators dip their pen in the vitriol: "Premises dilapidated and unworthy of the reception of the public within the police stations, with problems of safety and sometimes of safety, the lack of means of operation and consumables basic, the obligation to acquire one's own shoes and one's own belt as the quality of the official supplies is inadequate, the equipment impossible to get into the trunk of the vehicle. "In terms of vehicles, senators write:" siren not working, which could jeopardize the safety of interventions "before deploring that the" aging of the fleet of two forces remains of concern ". "A total of 3,400 vehicles, or 10 percent of the national police fleet, is over ten years old," the Senate estimates. Police officers posted in Île-de-France heard by the commission have indicated that cases of sliding doors falling during intervention are "not exceptional." In the eyes of parliamentarians, "it would be impossible to be exhaustive as the material problems are many. It follows, in their view, an "impression of downgrading that can deeply affect the morale of agents" and which, in addition, "undermines the dignity of the police function vis-à-vis the population." All is not black, however. Michel Vilbois, head of the internal security logistics department, told the Senate that "in 2014, the non-IT equipment budget (of the national police) was € 74 million in payment appropriations. In 2018, this figure rose to 150.8 million euros. We spend 2000 euros a year on the equipment of each policeman. Thus, "reinforcement plans made it possible to replace 72,000 individual bulletproof vests in three years, for 120,000 equipped civil servants: 60% received a new vest".
Access to ammunition would be "very largely in deficit"
"This" shortage "prevents many agents from making the minimum number of training shots requested," the Senate commission said. Thus, in 2017, only 80,435 police out of a total of 124,956 civil servants performed at least three firing sessions, or 64.4% of active personnel. "Although this rate is increasing compared to 2016, when only 58.7% of active personnel had reached the regulatory shooting threshold, the fact remains that a significant proportion of police officers does not have the necessary training to enable them to maintain a good command of the weapons. "Based on a census at a time T, the commission reveals that 5887 non-commissioned gendarmerie officers were not up to date, the 4 June 2018. That is 8% of the soldiers belonging to this body.
● 21.82 million overtime not recovered and not compensated
A "level never achieved so far," observe parliamentarians, who see the "direct consequence of the significant increase in operational activity of services" which weighs on the police. "Although the General Directorate of the National Police has begun negotiations with the trade unions for a gradual clearance of this stock, it has been indicated to your committee that no complete redemption of the theoretical hours was to date This could be envisaged with regard to the financial amount that would imply, estimated at 272.10 million euros, "says the commission, which fears an" increase in situations of burnout ". The report suggests "to include in the Finance Act for 2019 an envelope intended to compensate for the annual flow of overtime carried out by the staff of the National Police".
● The qualification of judicial police officer (OPJ) has become a real repellent
"Once rewarding and a source of professional enrichment", this function is now a scarecrow. The cause? The heaviness of the judicial procedure has in recent years taken unprecedented proportions and is causing a deep discouragement among some members of the police. "According to police officers assigned to public security at the police station in Bordeaux, the average duration of proceedings would have increased significantly in just a few years, from 22 to 28 hours, and raises the commission. Illustrating the incoherence, even the incongruity of our penal system, a representative of the gendarmerie group indicated that of the 60 minutes spent on average on the processing of a shoplifting, 45 minutes are devolved to the procedure, 15 minutes only to the intervention on the ground. "
On average, senators estimate, up to two-thirds of the working time would be devoted to the procedure for public security officers and up to five-sixths for the OPJ. The Committee of Inquiry regrets that "certain simplification measures, adopted by the legislator for some time, (have not) yet been implemented." Moreover, it fears that "the contrast between the cumbersome nature of the investigation and, at the end of the chain, sanctions perceived as insufficient (is not) thus a source of discouragement and demotivation for agents ".
At the hearing, Interior Minister Gérard Collomb revealed that around 2 600 judicial police officers would have been accredited in 2017 because of the procedural burden that arises. The myth of Maigret flew away.
The editorial advises you:
- "Police and gendarmes have the feeling of pedaling on a bike that does not have a chain ..."
- The police forces durably tested by the "Magnanville effect"
- Suicides in the police: the fear of a new black year
Assistant Editor, Security and Intelligence Specialist