• France's news in English
Radicalization among police a growing concern for France
Photo: AFP

Radicalization among police a growing concern for France

The Local · 9 Mar 2016, 11:18

Published: 09 Mar 2016 11:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While the numbers are tiny compared to the number of police in Paris, the internal memo has revealed that there were 17 cases between 2012 and 2015 of officers in Paris demonstrating behaviour or acts that concerned their superiors.

Around one third of the cases involved women and four of them were officers who have converted to Islam. None of the cases highlighted involve high-ranking officers.

There are no figures for the number of cases across the country.

Le Parisien newspaper, which revealed the leaked memo, claimed the officers were identified for acts such as refusing to stand guard outside a synagogue or refusing to respect a minute's silence. One officer even put out a call to murder on Facebook, which landed him in court, Le Parisien claimed. 

The newspaper claimed police in Paris were now recording "transgressions" on a weekly basis.

Stanislas Gaudon, from the police union Alliance, told The Local that while they couldn’t talk about or confirm the individual cases, most were related to disobeying the police's strict rules around secularism.

While the incident maybe something as minor as an officer observing daily Muslim prayers or wearing religious clothing at work, police are forced to take it seriously given the heightened terror threat and huge concern about the number of French people being radicalized.

The fact that officers are armed and have access to police files means the Ministry of Interior has to take the utmost caution, said Gaudon.

“This phenomenon was a concern back in 2014, which is why the Ministry of Interior asked for particular attention to be paid to it,” Gaudon told The Local.

“There are rules in place that forbid officers from demonstrating their religious conviction at work. Officers are closely watched by their superiors and police chiefs in Paris and if an individual is identified then police intelligence services can become involved,” he said.

“It may prove to be a false alarm or a real case of radicalization or fundamentalism."

Patrice Latro, Chief of the Paris police accepted "the phenomenon exists but is extremely marginal" given that Paris has 27, 000 officers.

He said police "would not tolerate any infringement within it the principle of secularism" and that "administrative sanctions can be taken in cases where it is proven.

The cases highlighted in the leaked memo do not reveal any kind of concerted attempt by jihadists or extremists to infiltrate the police, Le Parisien said and counter-terror officers have not been called in to investigate in any of the cases.

Story continues below…

Back in 2014 Minister of Interior Bernard Caseneuve sent out an urgent memo to all intelligence services to tell them that any cases of radicalization among police officers must be identified.

"We must be vigilant and act on what the minister wants,” a source in the internal intelligence services told Le Point news site at the time.

“The police and the gendarmerie are a reflection of society and can be affected by this phenomenon. It would be irresponsible to ignore it.”

What prompted the urgent memo was the case of two gendarmes (military police) who had planned to travel to Syria. 

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

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