Policeman found dead in garden of French prime minister’s residence

Policeman found dead in garden of French prime minister's residence
A general view of the Hotel Matignon in Paris from its gardens. Photo: AFP
The body of a French gendarme was found on Monday morning in the gardens of the official residence of the French prime minister in Paris, according to reports. It is believed he committed suicide.

The body was found at around 9.30 am on Monday morning in the gardens of Hotel Matignon – the French prime minister's official residence – with the officer said to have been in uniform, according to reports in the French press

Early reports suggest the policeman used his own weapon to carry out the suicide. 

It is believed the officer, who belonged to the French Republican Guard and was part of the team charged with protecting prime minister Edouard Philippe, was 45-years-old and a father. 

“The body of a Republican Guard was discovered this morning in the grounds of the Hôtel de Matigon, his service weapon at his side,” the prime minister's office said in a statement, adding that he had been assigned to the video surveillance services.


French government forced to act after new wave of police suicides

An inquiry into the circumstances of his death has been launched and will be carried out by French police body the IGGN (Inspection générale de la Gendarmerie nationale).

Last August an open letter was published in the French press that complained about worsening working conditions for gendarmes tasked with protecting the prime minister, in part due to the increased terror threat in France.

The French Republican Guard is part of the French Gendarmerie and is responsible for providing guards of honor for the State and security in the Paris area.

The suicide among French police officers is 36 percent higher than the rest of the population, with the devastatingly high rate partly put down to the stresses of the work.

In November 2017, eight French officers including a high-profile former police chief committed suicide in just one week, sparking renewed concern among the forces of law and order and the government.

As part of the government's measures seven extra psychologists were to be recruited for the police forces most in need. More psychologists were also to be recruited in police training schools.
Police officers were to get individual lockers where they can leave their weapon after work in an attempt at stopping officers committing suicide using their service firearms in their own homes. 

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.