France extends police powers in crackdown on drugs trade


  • World
  • Saturday, 25 Jul 2020

PARIS (Reuters) - France's new prime minister announced plans on Saturday to introduce on-the-spot fines for some drug offences amid mounting concern about over-stretched policing after a series of violent episodes in urban areas.

Jean Castex, appointed by President Emmanuel Macron in a government reshuffle earlier this month, announced the measures during a visit to Nice, where heavy gunfire was reported earlier this week, though no one was injured.

The new penalties will allow police to "apply a sanction without delay" and help in the struggle against drug dealing, said Castex, who also announced police reinforcements for the Riviera city.

The Nice shooting followed clashes in the eastern city of Dijon last month between rival groups and the killing of a bus driver in the southwestern city of Bayonne.

Social tension has increased during coronavirus confinement, when some police forces refrained from heavy-handed lockdown enforcement in areas with difficult community relations.

Police morale has also been sapped by understaffing, accusations of racism fanned by Black Lives Matter protests and by the slow pace of French judicial proceedings that can hamper efforts to tackle known delinquents.

The nationwide shift to on-the-spot penalties, following local pilots, will target low-level dealers and users of cannabis and other drugs as part of a broader law enforcement struggle against urban gangs and petty crime.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Mike Harrison)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Oil prices slide as demand fears persist
U.S. claims Vietnam's currency practices "unreasonable"
Bolivian minister of health tests positive for COVID-19
Brazil's retail sales drop 0.1 pct in November, ending six months of growth
Greece to relax COVID-19 restrictions
U.S. dollar strengthens on safe-haven demand
U.N. says U.S. blacklisting of Yemen group may hinder bid to avert oil spill
Chile reports 4,471 new COVID-19 infections
Huawei Italy chief says EU recovery fund could help close "digital gap"
France's coronavirus death toll approaches 70,000

Stories You'll Enjoy