Discomfort police face overwhelmed judiciary

Protest police, Thursday, May 10, on the Place du Chatelet in Paris. The lack of judicial action taken to questioning is one of the main points of attachment of the discontent that began on April 25.

Congestion parquet has consequences throughout the so-called "criminal justice system". Among police officers, the lack of judicial action taken on arrests is one of the main points of attachment of the discontent that began on April 25. This mood movement born after the indictment for murder of a policeman in Noisy-le-Sec (Seine-Saint-Denis), seems to be over. Wednesday, May 9, dozens of police protested again outside the union framework, Lyon, Nice or in the Essonne.

Read (subscribers zone) Prosecutors overloaded and disoriented

Long in this type of crisis, the main target were the judges, supposedly lax with thugs and severe with the police. This time, the discomfort is more general. Reform of custody (which imposed the presence of counsel), burdensome procedures, lack of coordination: the police officers present on the road, practicing interpellations have the feeling of working in vain. And resentment spread of magistrates to their fellow officers of the judicial police. In constant contact with prosecutors, they eventually inherit part of their role. They are in the front line, responsible for judging the appropriateness of prosecution and procedures.

But these officers often end up anticipating the objections of judges and do not follow the proceedings. In case, the overworked legal services, but also the poor quality of the minutes of questioning. These decisions are incomprehensible to the peacekeepers, especially for those who are at the forefront in the fight against crime: anti-crime brigade, security companies and other response units in sensitive areas. It is precisely the guards assigned to those units that are triggered engines in Seine-Saint-Denis movement.

One of them denounced as a "terrible judicial follow" and excessive complication of the current procedures: "We can find three or four fixed basis for all PV after arrest." However, these peacekeepers are trained and prepared to subtleties constantly modified the code of criminal procedure. As to supervision by officers, it is often lacking.


In November 2011, the "White Paper on Security" had advocated "simplified and adapted to the treatment of petty crime" rules. The contraventionnalisation of drug use could also lighten the load. Proposed by François Rebsamen, in charge of security issues in the socialist countryside on the eve of the first round of the election, it was rejected by Francois Hollande. The proposal raises opposition from many officers fearful of losing leverage in investigations of drug trafficking.

However, the idea of ​​replacing the prosecution more random by tickets for the most common crimes - drug abuse, contempt or shoplifting - begins to make its way. It would require a major educational effort with the police base. This is a track for the future occupants of the Beauveau Place and Place Vendome.

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