France’s justice minister says the public prosecutor’s office should hold police officials accountable for crimes committed against the public, as well as for their « ignorance and incompetence ».
Speaking to a gathering of journalists in the southern French city of Maroc, Jean-Pierre Blanchard said prosecutors should not be allowed to simply « pick up the pieces » of crimes committed in a city where crime has soared in recent years.
« We are in a state of emergency in France, » Blanchart said.
« The police have not only not done their job, they have not done theirs.
The French have been caught in the middle of this crisis. »
In a rare public appearance, Blanchac told journalists on Tuesday that the public prosecutors office should be allowed a wide range of powers, including the power to suspend public service jobs, revoke citizenship and arrest suspects.
In a recent speech to police officers, Blancard said the « tough and brutal » law against insulting a police officer had been in force for almost 20 years.
In Maroc the protesters who protested for the release of a local TV presenter have accused authorities of acting in bad faith and with the aim of shutting down the protest and deterring more from coming to the city.
The protesters, who include members of a youth group, are demanding the right to wear white shirts, wear black armbands and have no face covering.
The demonstrators’ demands are part of a nationwide movement calling for more freedoms of expression and assembly, including those for the public to express their opinions and demonstrate without fear of violence.
The protests have come amid a wave of protests by right-wing groups against government austerity measures, as French authorities clamp down on protests.
A large number of arrests have been made, and police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators.
Police said Tuesday that there had been six arrests in the last two weeks, and that about 3,000 people had taken part in demonstrations in the region of Marrakech, which includes the centre of Paris.