Probe after senior cop drunk at wheel

Booze habits of police officers investigated after complaints of drink-driving and drunken behaviour

16 July 2013

POLICE officers in the Var are being investigated over their drinking habits after the police chief was found drink-driving and dozens of bottles of alcohol were found in a store cupboard.

The Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale (IGPN) is checking claims that officers at Cogolin held regular drinks parties on the slightest of pretexts, with the head of the Police Municipale having his licence confiscated after being found drunk in charge of a police car.

Elsewhere, another leading officer has been accused of using the commune’s surveillance cameras to keep watch on what officers are doing.

The IGPN has been investigating the unit for several weeks after local police were accused of having lost all control and the respect of the public.

Investigators are looking at the behaviour of the police municpale chief and the head of the night unit who have both been accused by other officers of numerous drink-related problems, even inside the police HQ.

They found that occasional apéro drinks parties turned into regular events every Thursday, Friday and even Saturday mornings. The booze-fuelled parties were even being used for settling problems within the unit.

Police union official Frédéric Foncel, of the Syndicat National de la Police Municipale, told Var Matin newspaper that they “deplored such behaviour” and called for the senior police officers involved to be suspended.

• Last year two women gendarmes were killed at Collobrières, in Var, as they tried to arrest a man accused of theft.

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