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French cops told 'ticket drivers or lose holidays'

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Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
17:46 CEST+02:00
A French police commander has ordered his traffic officers to issue three tickets for driving offences every day, or they would miss out on days off over the Christmas period, it was alleged this week.

The senior policeman, who runs a road traffic division in the Paris region, allegedly instructed them to “be less lenient” with motorists, according to a leaked document published by AFP this week.

He also ordered them not to “hesitate to give out more penalties,” according to the document, dated October 7th and cited by Europe 1 radio on Friday.

The police chief allegedly fixed an exact target: at least three PVEs  (Electronically processed fines), per officer, per day.

He is then alleged to have said the decision on the allocation of holidays atthe end of the year will be made in light of the unit's "activities" as well as any resulting drop in the number of accidents.

In light of a 15-percent drop in what he called “repressive activities” by the troops so far this year, the experienced officer claimed he could not allow a scenario where “agents might get a holiday after having only recorded a single infraction.”

French national police union Alliance was scathing in its response on Thursday, slamming the officer in question for “acting like the Bogeyman” in front of his troops.

The union also lamented what it called a return to “quantitative” measurements of police activities, rather than a qualitative evaluation of success and failure in tackling traffic accidents and speeding.

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For its part, the DGPN (directorate-general of the national police) has denied that there is any “quota policy” when it comes to giving out fines for driving offences, but added that some superiors within the national police did encourage their officers to deploy the newer electronic version (PVE)  of the formal warning.

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