Everyone who's been to Paris knows that the noise of sirens as police cars fly down the road is one of the city's defining sounds, along with noisy mopeds and impatient drivers honking their horns.
But this could all be set to change.
The French capital's new police chief Michel Delpuech has come out publicly against what he sees as the abuse of the “dual tone” siren used by the police and other emergency services, and plans to crack down on its use, Le Monde reported.
Just one month after being elected into the role, the police chief has said that he plans to reduce the use of the ubiquitous siren because the noise stresses out and disturbs the city's residents, particularly while the country is in a state of emergency, which it has been since November 2015.
“The use of this equipment must be justified in order to be credible,” the chief said. “Residents complain about the problem and of the anxious atmosphere exacerbated by the extensive use of the device.”
Delpuech argues that it isn't necessary to use the siren for every mission and says he plans to introduce an effective control on siren abuse.
But the general secretary of the police union Alliace, Jean-Claude Delage disagrees: “Police officers are not children. They use the 'dual tone' siren to get to situations where, sometimes, lives are in jeopardy.”