Government to put more police on patrol

Interior Minister unveils first stage of scheme to add 10,000 officers to police ranks in five years

'Community police officers' will provide visible policing in 30 of France's poorest and most troubled neighbourhoods, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has said.

Police de sécurité du quotidien (PSQ) would start patrolling areas of Trappes (Yvelines), Gros Saule in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), Mirail in Toulouse, Neuhoff in Strasbourg, and the northern districts of Marseille by January next year, Mr Collomb said in a speech to law enforcement and security officials at École Militaire in Paris.

During his election campaign, President Emmanuel Macron unveiled plans to add 10,000 officers to police ranks in the next five years.

Mr Collomb ruled out creating a separate force to patrol the streets in France's poorest neighbourhoods, but announced the 30 priority areas would get up to 30 additional officers each to enable police to spend more time on the beat.

Meanwhile, 20 departments - mainly in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and western France - will see an increase in the number of gendarmes, with 250 brigades de contact offering further visible policing following a successful trial in 2017.

The increased police numbers will be augmented by 21st-century technology, Mr Collomb said. Up to 10,000 officers would wear cameras by 2019, more than quadruple the current number, while handheld tablets and smartphones will allow quicker access to police files.

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