• France's news in English

France unveils plan to cut police suicides

Sophie Inge · 29 Jan 2015, 11:22

Published: 29 Jan 2015 11:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Cazeneuve  announced on Wednesday a series of measures to fight the growing crisis in the French police that has seen a dramatic rise in the number of suicides.

As part of the plan seven extra psychologists will be recruited for the police forces most in need. More psychologists will also recruited in police training schools, Le Parisien reported.

Police officers will get individual lockers where they can leave their weapon after work, with around 2,300 planned in the departement of Val d’Oise. This measure is aimed at stopping officers committing suicide using their service firearms in their own homes. 

Praising the courage of the police in the weeks after the Paris terror attacks, the minister added that he intended to “improve the quality of life at work” by promoting a healthier work-life balance.

The minister said he would also consider changing working hours to allow more time for a private life.

Cazeneuve’s plans were unveiled on the same day that another police officer, aged 43, reportedly took her own life with her service firearm. Her suicide brings the total number of suicides since January 2014 to 56.

Between January and November last year a total of 50 police officers took their lives. That compares to 40 last year and 43 in 2011 and 2012.

Since then the government has been under increasing pressure to act.

David-Olivier Reverdy from the police union Alliance told The Local at the end of last year that there was a real crisis in the police force.

Story continues below…

While he accepted there are always “multiple factors” behind suicides, he says the fact remains that there are fundamental problems within the French police force that is pushing many over the edge.

“Some of these suicides are clearly down to problems in their personal lives, but there is clearly a malaise among police officers,” he said.

Reverdy pointed to “archaic” management systems, working conditions, pressure from bosses, and a lack of protection from the government given the fact that “no one these days seems to be too scared to physically attack police officers”. 

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available