Macron: police attack forces have faced five straight weeks.
French police will be given pay rises after their so-called Blue Vest protests followed the Yellow Vest anti-government movement.
The accord was announced by unions last night, after two days of talks with President Emmanuel Macron’s government and a strike which saw police stations close down except for emergency duties.
Police have complained of exhausting hours of patrols and chronic under-investment in equipment which have stretched departments to breaking point.
A group of police officers organized plans on social networks for a Thursday night demonstration in front of a station on Paris’ Champs-Elysees Avenue. At that spot, police and gendarmes have confronted protesters with tear gas, water cannons and armored vehicles on multiple Saturdays since last month.
About 80 people wearing police arm bands, some emergency workers and others gathered for the peaceful demonstration to show they are still angry. Some sported yellow vests in solidarity with the anti-government protesters.
‘We don’t have the means to be everywhere at the same time … We have to make a choice and that’s not normal,’ Guillaume Lebeau, vice president of a group called Mobilization of Angry Police, said.
Last month an officer who led an ‘angry police movement’, which emerged after the 2016 firebombing of a squad car with two officers inside, was found dead at her home in a suspected suicide.
Unions blame difficult working conditions for a suicide rate among police that is 36 percent higher than for the general population, according to a Senate report. More than 30 police officers have taken their own lives in 2018, many of them with their service revolvers.
The rate is higher among gendarmes, who unlike police are part of the military. In the last known suicide, a gendarme took his life in November in the garden of the prime minister’s office.
The Senate report published in July on how to overcome the ‘malaise’ makes clear that the daily routine of a police officer can mean contending with dilapidated equipment, rundown cars, filthy stations and an out-of-touch management.