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Motorbikes confiscated at the Marseille central police station in France. While the Interior Minister cited the scourge of 'urban rodeos', it is well known that drug criminals use them to evade capture.Twitter

French police unions furious at internal memo banning car chases

A video released by a police union denounces an internal memo banning officers from chasing fleeing offenders. The memo coincides with a marked rise in crime.

Published: February 2, 2023, 9:14 am

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    The video was published on Wednesday (1 February) by a police union denouncing an internal memo forbidding officials to pursue fleeing criminals, reported CNews. The video, published by the Alliance police union and based on computer-generated images and an authentic police radio exchange, shows police officers chasing a man driving a stolen car. “Due to note 89, stop following,” one can hear. “I acknowledge receipt of this note,” replies one of the police officers in intervention. The pursuit of the offender is then interrupted.

    This “note 89” is authentic and actually exists. It requires police officers to pursue a vehicle only in very serious cases, such as the escape or evasion of a dangerous individual, or the tracking of a perpetrator of a blood crime. For other situations, considered less serious, there should be no systematic chase.

    An internal memo is therefore calling for a relaxation of this rule.

    “We even have individuals who taunt us on stolen motorbikes,” Alain Barberis, departmental secretary of Rhône Alliance, told CNews. “It’s unbearable. The police are there to maintain order,” he concluded.

    Delinquency up sharply in Île-de-France, with Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis well ahead

    According to the latest figures from the Ministry of the Interior, all crime indicators have risen sharply in Île-de-France in 2022.

    After two consecutive years of decline, delinquency rose again in 2022. This was revealed in the annual statistics of the Ministry of the Interior published on Tuesday 31 January and reported in Le Parisien on Wednesday 1 February. Most crimes and offences increased last year in Île-de-France, with the exception of violent robberies.

    According to the ministry’s statement, Seine-Saint-Denis alone saw an increase of 22.8 percent in domestic violence alone, while cases of sexual violence recorded in the capital rose by almost 20 percent. In Paris and the Yvelines, drug use is the type of crime that has increased the most in 2022, with an increase of 37.8 percent in one year. Intra-family violence has also seen a significant rise. They have increased in particular in the Paris suburbs, with rises of 22.8 percent in the immigrant zone of Seine-Saint-Denis and 15 percent in Val-de-Marne.

    The great return of international syndicates

    Another notable increase is the theft of car accessories, which has jumped by 25.7 percent in the Île-de-France region. According to Le Parisien, this trend is due to the return of international crime syndicates to the region. The same applies to the number of burglaries, which is also on the rise. They have increased by 5.3 percent in Île-de-France. The increase is 8,8 percent in the capital itself.

    The only positive point is the drop in violent robberies, which have fallen by 20 percent in the Ile-de-France region. This trend is attributed by the new Paris police prefect, Laurent Nuñez, to the reinforcement of the number of police officers in sensitive areas such as railway stations and theme parks.

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