Marseille police get pump shotguns to fight crime
Published: 09 Dec 2011 11:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2011 10:07 GMT+01:00
French President Nicolas Sarkozy told police working in the south of France they would be allowed to use pump shotguns to tackle the city's a crime spike. In November, a policeman was shot while trying to intercept suspected burglars on the run.
French police will receive 150 pump shotguns and 600 new balistic shields before the end of the year, Sarkozy told police unions during a visit to the southern city of Marseille.
Police have been facing a spike in shootings on the French Riviera, with criminals using kalashnikovs. Four people, including a 37-year-old policeman, died in the attacks.
Sarkozy and Interior Minister Claude Guéant met policemen in Marseille to express their support on Thursday. Sarkozy also announced the death of the policeman who was shot during a car chase north of Marseille. Hit in the head and in the stomach, the father of two was in a coma since November.
The Greens and the Communist Party have criticised Sarkozy’s decision to increase police firepower and said it was irresponsible to start an arms race with local gangsters, French weekly Nouvel Observateur reported. The Communist Party instead say they want more policemen patrolling the streets.
Far right leader Marine Le Pen also criticised Sarkozy and said he should be tougher on crime. She says police aren’t allowed to use their weapons and should benefit from the presumption of legitimate defence.
Gay rights leader Sebastien Chenu with Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP
A recent survey shows gay support for the National Front is rising. Some gays say the far-right party is more open to minorities than France’s mainstream parties, despite a history of homophobia.
Alps Plane Crash
Details about the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz began emerging on Friday, including the fact he had been signed off sick for the day of the crash.
German prosecutors revealed on Friday that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who is believed to have deliberately crashed the Germanwings plane in the Alps, had a sick leave note from his doctor for the day of the crash, but hid his illness from his employers.
The search continues in the French Alps. Photo: French Interior Ministry/Twitter
UPDATED: French authorities are yet to find any intact bodies as they continue the painstaking search for victim body parts among the wreckage of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the Alps. Investigators are also hunting for the second black box.
Alps Plane Crash
Claude Driessens, who lost his brother Christian in the plane crash. Photo: BFMTV
Friends and family members of the victims of the Germanwings plane crash have been left horrified and angry after the revelations that the co-pilot deliberately downed the plane and that he had been signed off sick for the day of the crash. The Local speaks to one man who lost his brother.
Runners at the annual Paris marathon. Photo: AFP
Spring has finally arrived, and it promises a series of fun activities from the Paris marathons to epic Easter egg hunts. Here are ten events in April definitely worth checking out.
Consumer spending is on the rise in France. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
French consumer confidence has hit a five-year high, the Insee statistics agency said on Friday, signalling that households feel more optimistic about the country's growth.
The Eiffel Tower will momentarily lose its sparkle to mark Earth Hour. Eiffel Tower photo
It may be known as the City of Light but on Saturday evening even Paris and its most famous monument the Eiffel Tower will go dark to mark Earth Hour. Parisians will then have to dance for the Iron Lady to be restored to its glittering glory.
Islamophobia in France
Muslim women protest about France's decision to ban the veil. Photo: AFP
A headscarf-wearing Muslim woman in her final month of pregnancy was violently assaulted in southern France this week, in what has been labelled an Islamophobic attack.
Alps Plane Crash
Rescuers hold American, Spanish, German and British flags infront of the relatives of the victims of the plane crash on Thursday. Photo: AFP
Dozens of grieving family members have gathered in the small village in the French Alps near to where the Germanwings plane crashed into the mountainside killing all 150 people on board. A remembrance ceremony was held on Thursday.
French actress Marion Cotillard performs in Joan of Arc. Photo: AFP
French actress Marion Cotillard will play Joan of Arc with the New York Philharmonic in a production of Arthur Honegger's oratorio, the orchestra announced on Thursday.