Refusals to comply in the gendarmerie zone increased by 19% in 2021. Their number rose from 11,488 in 2018 to 13,690 last year. “One every 37 minutes,” worries General Alain Pidoux, who has been head of the general inspection of the national gendarmerie for two years. Lack of licence, driving while intoxicated… There are many reasons why drivers do not submit to checks by the forces and order and flee. Several gendarmes were injured but none were killed last year in this type of situation, while in 2020 a young soldier died after being hit at a roadblock in Lot-et-Garonne, in Port Sainte-Marie.
Consequences: the use of firearms by the gendarmes to immobilize vehicles has increased between 2020 and 2021, since it now concerns 17% of the 88 facts for which the soldiers fired last year (compared to 9% in 2020) , or about fifteen shots. General Pidoux, who presented the annual report of the IGGN on Wednesday, praised the “great mastery” of the personnel confronted with this kind of perilous situation. “It all lies in the training, in the support, in the preparation for these checks”, assures the officer. The gendarmes, he said, “must not put themselves in difficulty”. “The objective is not specifically to stop the car right away, but to be able to stake it out on a course, then to stop it to finally control it and find out why this person wanted to evade a police check. . »
“Electronic means” to stop cars?
By comparison, on the side of the national police, the use of weapons in this type of case has stabilized for three years around 150 annual shots. These shots “still constitute the majority of operational shots (60%)” by the police, noted the IGPN, the police of the police, in its annual report. The “carrot oxen” nevertheless underlined that the result of the use of the firearm was not “always convincing, the defendants managing, most often, to flee”.
During road checks, the gendarmes can use harrows to prevent offenders from escaping them. “Tomorrow, perhaps we will have electronic means which will allow us to intercept vehicles more easily, hopes General Pidoux. We need to think about it, maybe with the people who build these cars. We are talking about cars that drive themselves. But perhaps we should also think about other ways to stop the cars. »
A magistrate named No. 2 of the IGGN
In addition, the officer indicated that the IGGN had been seized in 2021 of 59 new judicial investigations, a figure slightly lower than the previous year. In all, 111 investigations into cases involving gendarmes were conducted last year, and 57 cases were closed. The new judicial investigations have mainly concerned acts of violence with or without a weapon attributed to the gendarmes. As for reports from individuals, 987 were filed in 2021, including a quarter for refusals to file a complaint. The IGGN also conducted 41 administrative investigations, compared to 35 in 2020, an increase of 17%, the majority of which concerned moral harassment at work.
While the IGPN, the “police of the police” is the subject of criticism, accused in particular of lacking independence in the files of police violence, a magistrate, Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre was appointed Wednesday at its head. On the gendarmerie side, General Pidoux announced the arrival next September of Judge Jean-Michel Gentil as number 2 of the IGGN. “He is a very experienced magistrate”, notes General Pidoux about the magistrate, currently vice-president in charge of the investigation at the Paris court, known to the general public for having indicted Nicolas Sarkozy in 2013. “C It’s good to have crossed eyes”, assures the officer before concluding: “I need this outside view, this expertise that Jean-Michel Gentil will bring. And I’m glad to have him on the team. »