France’s Macron to launch consultation on security in January

Published: Updated:

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to launch a consultation in January to review ways to improve conditions under which the police operate and relations with the population.

Read more: France's president Macron 'very shocked' by images of French police beating Black man

This follows large protests in France over police violence and a draft security law, which opponents say would restrict civil liberties.

“It is urgent to act to beef up the trust between the French and the police forces while also give police and gendarmes the means to meet their commitments and the expectations of our citizen,” Macron wrote in a letter addressed to the SGP Police FO union and seen by Reuters.

The consultation - named the “Beauvau de la securite”, after Place Beauvau, the Parisian square on which France’s interior ministry is located, will review issues ranging from police training and staffing, to using video equipment during operations and relations with the population.

France has been hit by a wave of street protests after the government introduced a security bill in parliament that set out to increase its surveillance tools and restrict rights on circulating images of police officers in the media and online.

The bill was part of Macron’s drive to get tougher on law and order ahead of elections in 2022. His government also said the police needed to be better protected from online hate.

But the draft legislation provoked a public backlash.

In a recent U-turn, Macron’s ruling party said it would rewrite the article that curbs rights to circulate images of police officers.

In an interview with news website Brut last week, Macron said France will launch an online platform next year for people to flag any unnecessary checks by police. He also said that bodycams for police officers will be widely used from next June.

Read more:

French police officer suspended over beating of Black man

Saudi Arabia ranks 1st in Arab world, 17th globally in coronavirus research efforts

Hashtags: #COVID19, #BlackLivesMatter top Twitter themes in 2020