Public back guns for local police

Unions want every municipal police officer to be given a firearm, an idea supported by 56% of people in a survey

MORE than half of people in France support the idea of giving firearms to all municipal police officers, a new survey has revealed.

The poll of 711 people by Le Parisien found 56% of respondents agreed that arming every officer would be "a good idea".

The issue of whether police should be armed has been brought up after an unarmed policewoman, Aurélie Fouquet, was killed in a shooting in Villiers-sur-Marne, near Paris, last month.

The biggest trade union representing municipal police, the CFTC, has called on the government to pass a decree forcing all local mayors to give guns to their municipal police force.

At the moment, about 40% of France's 18,000 municipal officers carry firearms. The union says officers are faced with the same dangers as national police and gendarmes and have a right to be given the same protection.

However the mayor of Drancy in the Seine-Saint-Denis, Jean-Christophe Lagarde, said it was important that the decision on whether to give police firearms remained with each individual mayor, as they have a legal responsibility in the event of a blunder.

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