Macron promises extra night work allowance for French police

Macron promises extra night work allowance for French police
Emmanuel Macron promised a budget of €10 million for police night shift work. Photo: AFP
President Emmanuel Macron has promised a night work allowance for France's police force, after officers demanded greater government backing in the face of protests over claims of brutality and racism in their ranks.

On a surprise late-night visit to two specialised police units in Paris overnight Monday to Tuesday, Macron promised a budget of €10 million for officers who work at night, the interior ministry announced.

Night pay was among several demands police unions made at a meeting with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on July 20th, shortly after his controversial appointment in spite of a pending rape investigation.

Darmanin accompanied Macron on the visit, designed to show support for the demanding work of the police, the presidency said.

The special allowance sought to compensate for the “additional hardship associated with night work” accompanied by increased demand for police on the ground, added the ministry.

Police in France have been on high alert since a spate of terror attacks in 2015, and have also had to contend with near-weekly demonstrations by anti-government “yellow vests” since November 2018, and more recently countrywide anti-pension reform strikes.

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But they have come under fire for incidents of alleged brutality in putting down the often-violent protests, with many civilian injuries reported from the use of rubber bullets and explosive stun grenades.

The deaths in custody of two men of African origin in separate incidents have also sparked widespread fury and protests against alleged racism.

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Police have staged high-profile nocturnal protests against a perceived lack of support, symbolically placing their handcuffs on the ground.

The tensions were a factor in the replacement of former interior minister Christophe Castaner with Darmanin in a cabinet reshuffle earlier this month.

Macron last month defended the police, saying they “deserve public support and the recognition of the nation for their work”.

And Darmanin, in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper, spoke of the need to “stop the de-civilisation of a certain part of society”, adding: “We must reaffirm the authority of the state and not let anything pass.”


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