French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he will put thousands more police on the streets, at a time when the main challengers to him winning re-election say he has let the French down on security.
Security has become a major topic in the campaign ahead of April’s presidential election, with candidates on the right and the far-right vying for centre-right Macron’s job and all jostling to sound the toughest on crime.
His opponents and our French politics correspondent both suggest he doesn’t have the capacity to add more French police officers on the streets in 2022.
Macron playing politics with French Police officers
“Today, our police and gendarmes handle many tasks that don’t make a difference in your daily lives – guards for public buildings and for hospitalised people in custody, officers at court hearings – … which prevent them from patrolling in neighbourhoods,” Macron said.
“We’ll free them up from these tasks, by handing these tasks to administrative personnel, or through private or contract partnerships … this will allow us to free up the equivalent of 3,500 police and gendarmes.”
Macron second term push
The French president is pushing hard for the second term, taking a tougher stance towards the British and also taking the EU presidency; Macron second term push is a move he needs as Marine Le Pen is closing in.
Defending his track record after conservative opponent Valerie Pecresse, and far-right candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour have repeatedly criticised him, Macron said: “We have over the past five years … reinvested in our security.”