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Telegraph: Police stations closed as French officers demand £248m of unpaid overtime in day of protest

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Police stations were closed on Wednesday and long queues formed at passport control booths as officers staged a “black day” of protest to demand better working conditions.



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A bit of an old post to respond to, but I've only just joined!

We live in France. Our village has a Gendarmerie rather than a Police Station. When we first moved here, I presented the Station with one of my old top hats. I received a Kepi in exchange. I had an ulterior motive. I thought that I might get stopped at some point and not understand why. It worked. About eight months later I was stopped on the road at night. My insurance sticker was out of date. Not my fault, the insurance company had failed to send a new one. I fully expected to get a fine, but suddenly one of the Gendarmes called out in French 'It's ok. It's Monsieur Bradford. He's the one that gave us the Kepi!' I have spoken to them on several occasions. One of our daughters came home and said that her father was the Captain and was pleased that 'our Dad's are friends'. They have a difficulty in associating with the public as they have to live in often fortified stations and they are not really encouraged to. Not even to stop and have a coffee with you. Probably a throwback to the Government worrying there might be another Revolution!

Their training is lax. I asked how often they have firearms training. For the local ones, not since they were issued with their weapons as there is no money. Fro the CRS, one would hope fairly regularly.

But, is the lack of training linked to penalties for disorder? Do they feel that it is not required? After all, Public Order offences are highly frowned upon. I hadn't realised this until I asked, but I was conscious that I had never seen a fight in the time that we have lived here and that is since 2006. The reason? You go to prison straight away. Do not pass Go. You will be there on remand waiting for the trial and French prison is not a nice place to be. At trial, you will also get a severe fine. Several thousand euros. No comforts of home like in the UK!

It isn't a highly paid job, not like the UK. But, they do deserve to get paid for overtime, the same as everyone else.

Under one of the previous Presidents, the 35 hour week came in. To improve productivity, President Sarkosy said that overtime would be tax free in order to improve productivity by the workers. Not many take advantage of it, but it is only fair that the Gendarmes have the same offer as those they Police.

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