Police reform: one leader but several questions

It is a reform that raises concerns. In each department, departmental directorates of the national police (DDPN) will be created which will bring together public security, territorial intelligence (the former « RG »), border police and judicial police.

Making the job easier

Until now, each of these specialties has operated independently, with its own direction. The objective is to fight against the logic of silos and that the work be done in a much simpler way, said Emmanuel Macron in his closing speech of “Beauvau of security” , Tuesday September 14, 2021.

In 2019, in an internal note, the Ministry of the Interior deplored that there could be Conflicts between the different departments, or even duplication in terms of missions and equipment.

A single chief for all national police services

Like the gendarmes, in a department, the police officers, whatever their specialty, will therefore depend on only one chief. This new organization has been tested since January in the Pas-de-Calais, the Savoie and the Eastern Pyrenees.

But it also raises fears. Notably because the DDPN will depend just as much on the prefect as on the prosecutor. The white paper on internal security, published in November 2020, thus wished to take advantage of this reform to consolidate the authority of the prefects in the conduct of their security missions in the department “ .

However, for judicial investigators who will now find themselves headed by a departmental director of the national police, this reorganization raises several questions. First of all, that of the perimeter on which they will have to intervene. So far, they depend on a regional service.

The Syndicat de la magistrature is worried

Will concentrating most of their investigations at the departmental level be more effective? No, clearly, respond Thibaut Spriet, of the Syndicat de la magistrature. When a prosecutor or an examining magistrate appeals to the PJ, it is for complex cases, longues », which very often go beyond departmental borders.

What will be the priorities given to the investigators of the PJ? Put an end to deal points at the bottom of buildings – operations that are very visible – or instead try to get their hands on the heads of networks, Thibaut Spriet still worries.

“A problem of independence”

What means are granted to the PJ for these long-term files and for the investigations which will concern the elected officials? This poses a problem of independence. Judicial inquiries are still supposed to be done independently from state services.

And what will happen if the staff are more oriented by the prefect towards public security or law enforcement missions?, wonders the Syndicate of the Magistracy which wants on the contrary that the judicial police depend on the Ministry of Justice.

In several other media, investigators from the judicial police who represent only 4% of the overall workforce of the national police, were also concerned that they would not be absorbed by other missions …

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