• France's news in English

Gun ads see French cops compared to Dirty Harry

Ben McPartland · 11 Feb 2015, 17:39

Published: 11 Feb 2015 17:39 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Robert Menard, a far-right local mayor, is no stranger to controversy after he banned halal meals in municipal cafeterias and then imposed a curfew on kids under 13.

The latest row he has provoked revolves around his new poster campaign to advertise the fact police in the town are now armed with a new friend – their 7.65 calibre handguns.

While municipal police in France are allowed to carry arms and most already do, it is the tone of the poster campaign that has left many feeling uneasy.

“From now on the municipal police have a new friend,” reads the giant posters placed around the town, next to a photo of their new handguns.

Sharing the photos on Twitter and Facebook several local residents say the ads belong more in the Wild West than a town in the south of France.

“Béziers, it’s the wild west, with its cowboys,” tweeted Sofia.

Another named Loljak tweeted sarcastically: “Béziers cops have turned into Dirty Harry. Ménard has let it be known with a measured poster campaign.”

Sarah Rebouh tweeted: “Ménard is creepy. This man thinks he’s a cowboy.”

Defending  the campaign the mayor told Le Scan “Yes, our town likes law and order. The rules have changed.” He said the posters were “appropriate”.

The local Communist Party however said it was a “provocation.”

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What Paris 'squalor pit' Gare du Nord will look like in future
All photos: Wilmotte et Assoicés

IN PICTURES: The universally accepted 'squalor pit of Europe' is finally getting a facelift.

Halloween: The ten spookiest spots in Paris
Is there really a ghost on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? Photo: AFP

Read at your own peril.

Halloween holiday in France: Traffic nightmares and sun!
Photo: AFP

But it's great news for the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
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
jobs available