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Police in Paris. Photo supplied

Despite BLM protests, majority in France have a good image of police

A study, commissioned in 2019 by Christophe Castaner, once again calls into question the demonstrations against police violence and alleged racism. A large majority of French people view the police force positively.

Published: June 9, 2020, 3:31 pm

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    This information was revealed after a study commissioned in 2019 by the Minister of the Interior was released on Sunday, June 7 in the middle of protest movements against police violence.

    According to researchers at Savoie Mont-Blanc University, 84,9 percent of French people have a good image of the police. The study is entitled “National Survey on the Quality of the Link between the Population and the Internal Security Forces”. It was carried out on 12 822 people spread across France. Researchers worked on it for much of 2019.

    More specifically, 23 percent of the population say they have a “very positive” opinion of police officers, while 60 percent simply answered “positive”. However, 13 percent of French people say they have an “unpopular” image. Those who observe the police from a “not at all positive” point of view are an extreme minority: only 2,3 percent according to this study.

    Another report was also released on Sunday June 7. According to the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), the number of investigations, for racist or discriminatory insults on the part of the police, dropped last year.

    The police identified only 30 such incidents in 2019, against 46 in 2018. This is a significant drop of almost 35 percent, Le Journal du dimanche reported.

    Monday evening, on the set of BFMTV, French film director and former police officer Olivier Marchal defended the police.

    Marchal told his audience: “The cops are always the scapegoats for the instability and disorder of a society.” The director regrets that the police have, according to him, been “disowned by public authorities and the hierarchy” and “abandoned by the political authorities”.

    Marchal, a police officer for twelve years and then director of several films and a series on the institution [36 quai des Orfèvres , Flics , Braquo] was visibly moved. “I worked with guys who are committed to serve and protect, and the cops continue to want to serve and protect.” A little earlier on Monday, the union Union Police Nationale had given a platform to the French director, on which he defended the police, “people who continue to do their job in dismal conditions”.

    Since the death of George Floyd in the United States, demonstrations have multiplied around the world to denounce racism and police violence. In France, more than 20 000 met at the call of the Traore “Justice for Adama” committee before the Paris court on June 2.

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