• France's news in English
French police lifeguards get guns for summer beach patrol
Photo: AFP

French police lifeguards get guns for summer beach patrol

Ben McPartland · 28 Jun 2016, 09:56

Published: 28 Jun 2016 09:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The move is a direct consequence of the terror threat facing French police that brutally revealed itself in the double murder of a policeman and his partner at their home in Magnanville near Paris earlier this month.

As a result CRS lifeguards who monitor some of the busier beaches in France will have the right to carry their guns, Europe1 radio reported.

“This is the first time that these officers will be armed. Normally throughout July and August they are in their swim suits and unarmed,” said Nicolas Comte from the SGP-FO police union.

Only those officers in charge of first aid centres will be able to carry their weapons or their replacements.

Their weapons will be kept in special cases that are adapted specially for the swimwear worn by officers.

While the measure might sound and look extreme, police officers in France are increasingly fearful of the threat against them.

The measure is necessary to “ensure their safety," said Comte.

“We can see these days that the police are the target of terrorists, but this is also to ensure the police are ready to respond in the event of an armed attack,” said Comte.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone. It means that there are people to provide security for everyone when they are on the beach,” the union official added.

Comte said that the French public and tourists should not be alarmed by the measure, however.

“Holidaymakers will not see police in heavy armour, they will see lifeguards,” he said.

The number of CRS police stationed at beach resorts this summer, however, will be significantly reduced due to the need to post them elsewhere during the state of emergency.

According to French media LCI there will be 297 officers on duty to patrol beaches this year compared to 460 last year.

The move to allow police lifeguards to carry their guns is just the latest measure made at the behest of a worried police force in France.

Story continues below…

After the double murder at Magnanville, the French government said it would allow police in France to carry their arms at all times even while off duty.

Initially that measure was brought in for the duration of the state of emergency, which is due to come to an end before August. 

But the brutal killing persuaded the government to make the move permanent.



Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

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