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POLICE

Uproar over French traffic fine database

The French Interior Ministry is launching a new database to keep track of car owners who challenge fines. A group of French lawyers say the move is illegal and a violation of the rights of citizens. 

Uproar over French traffic fine database

Next time you want to challenge a parking ticket in France, think again. You will land up on a special list of “angry car owners” who have protested fines.  

The Interior ministry is to create a new database called Ares that will include personal details of car owners such as the name, address, date of birth and even job title.  

Rémy Josseaume, president of the lawyers’ Automobile Club, says the ministry is going too far in an interview with Le Parisien.  

Josseaume says he is adamant he will use “all possible means, including legal, to obtain the repeal of a decision that is not legally acceptable”. 

In a couple of days the new file will be operational and officials will have access to the personal details of car owners who complain about fines they have received. 

French authorities sought however to reassure the public and insisted that they weren’t creating a new police database but a tool to help manage fines. 

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POLICE

Paris suburbs see third night of violence

The Parisian suburbs of Sevran, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Tremblay-en-France have seen clashes between residents and police, ever since an officer shot and killed the driver of a stolen van on Saturday.

Paris suburbs see third night of violence

Angry residents and police clashed for a third night in suburbs north of Paris, leading to 13 arrests following the fatal shooting of a father-of-four by an officer at the weekend, police said Tuesday.

Despite a heavy police presence to prevent further violence, several cars, a dozen bins and an abandoned sports centre were set alight overnight in the low-income Sevran, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Tremblay-en-France suburbs, a police source told AFP.

The unrest began Saturday after a police officer fatally shot the driver of a van that had been reported stolen and was being inspected at a traffic light in Sevran at around lunchtime.

The officer was hospitalised afterwards “in a state of shock,” local prosecutor Eric Mathais said Sunday, while internal police investigators have opened a probe into the incident.

Local people who knew the man named as Jean-Paul told AFP that he had taken a van owned by his employer who owed him wages.

They have also questioned how the officer could justify opening fire when his life was not in danger, which is the only justification for using a weapon under French law.

A protest march by the dead man’s family is expected in the next few days.

Residents in France’s multiracial suburbs often complain about heavy-handed policing methods and violence that have led to a series of scandals in recent years, including the February 2017 arrest of a black man who was allegedly sodomised with a police baton.

Police unions say officers often face hostility and attacks, and are faced with the difficult task of trying to maintain order in impoverished high-rise housing estates that in some cases are centres of drug dealing and other criminality.

The French government began a public consultation in February aimed at devising ways to increase public confidence in the police.

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