France pledges tougher jail terms for police assailants

FILE PHOTO: French Prime Minister Jean Castex, wearing a protective face mask, attends the questions to the government session before a final vote on controversial climate change bill at the National Assembly in Paris, France, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS (Reuters) - France plans tougher sentences for violent attacks on police, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Monday, as the government responds to public outrage over two recent officers' killings.

Anyone receiving a life sentence for a serious crime against law enforcement will serve a 30-year mandatory jail term before any eligibility for parole, under the proposals unveiled after a meeting between Castex and police unions.

The announcement came as police said they had arrested two people over the shooting of an officer during a drugs bust in the city of Avignon last week.

That killing and the April murder of a police employee by a recently radicalised Islamist in Rambouillet, near Paris, have stoked public fears around crime and terrorism that already loom large over France's 2022 presidential election.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Jean-Stéphane Brosse; editing by Richard Pullin)

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