Often attacked on these subjects, Emmanuel Macron himself puts the theme of security back on the agenda. After initial announcements in January in Nice, a text is presented to the Council of Ministers this Wednesday, March 16: the orientation and programming law of the Ministry of the Interior.
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Impossible for it to be voted on before the presidential election. It is therefore a political program, which the Head of State hopes to apply during a second term. His line on security has fluctuated according to the events that have marked the five-year term: attacks, yellow vests, police violence, murders of police officers… Today, he prides himself on having given more resources to the police. , and promises to double the workforce on the ground by 2030.
“Few questions about the police profession”
The programs of its competitors, on the left and on the right, define security above all as proximity protection, a daily presence, which often passes through this “blue in the street” that the president also calls for. The presence rate of police officers on the ground has indeed been declining for ten years, noted the Court of Auditors in November.
The idea would be to “raise” to guarantee a “public tranquility”vocabulary used both by Éric Zemmour (Reconquest) and Marine Le Pen (National Rally), as well as by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France insoumise) and Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party).“ It is an aspiration for a police force that listens to the security needs of the population. But there are often few questions about the profession of policeman, the quality of the work and the relational proximity »judge Jacques de Maillard, professor of political science at Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University and director of the Center for Sociological Research on Law and Penal Institutions (Cesdip).
Several candidates therefore want to create police and gendarme posts: 6,000 for Jean Lassalle (Resist!), 7,000 for Marine Le Pen, and even 30,000 for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout la France). On the other side of the chessboard, Fabien Roussel (Communist Party) wants 30,000 “local police”.
However, the left-right divide remains very present. On the left, three candidates want to restore a “local policing” – Lionel Jospin’s measure in 1998 had been abandoned by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2003. Jean-Luc Mélenchon thus wishes to create a police force assigned to “geographical areas on a human scale”which aims to create social ties.
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On the right, the “more blue” goes with an inflation of material and investigative means, of the number of magistrates and places in prison. “At Zemmour, Pécresse, or even Macron, there is a lot of insistence on the means, without discussing the endsestimates the sociologist Sebastian Roché, director of research at the CNRS (1). With the implicit hypothesis that the increase in means implies a reduction in crimes and misdemeanors. »
The desire of part of the right and the extreme right is to incarcerate more, faster, and more firmly. By lowering the criminal majority to 16 years and by establishing minimum sentences in particular. With the idea of restoring authority in territories considered “abandoned to traffickers and mafia”says Valérie Pécresse (LR).
On the right as on the left, we want to strengthen intelligence to fight against terrorism. If Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Yannick Jadot (Europe Écologie-Les Verts) insist on policies to prevent radicalization and want to avoid short sentences which would put offenders in contact with radicalized profiles in prison, LR wants “security measures” for terrorists leaving prison, and the extreme right sees the subject through the prism of a “struggle of civilization”.
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on terrorism, “There have been a lot of legislative changes in recent years, relieves Jacques de Maillard. The central question, it is to know how one evaluates the effectiveness of the devices. Because there may be a tendency to reinvent new ones to make announcements”. In terms of security, the evaluation of policies is as rare as it is essential.
Police unions satisfied
►The orientation and programming law (Lopmi) draws the budget of the Ministry of the Interior for the years 2022-2027. It provides fifteen billion additional euros, an increase of 25% compared to the current budget. Half would be invested in digital.
►Emmanuel Macron wants to relieve agents of peripheral tasks, create 200 gendarmerie brigades in rural areas or even double the number of investigators dedicated to domestic violence.
►At the same time, career upgrading protocols have been signed with the police and gendarmes. The unions, to whom the executive has continued to give pledges since their mobilization in the spring of 2021, are satisfied.