“A refusal to comply every 20 minutes”? Where does this vastly exaggerated number come from? – The HuffPost

Patrick Aventurier / Getty Images According to the police unions, there would be in France “a refusal to comply every 20 minutes in the country”. A rather greatly exaggerated figure (illustrative photo taken during an attestation check during the first confinement, in April 2020, around Nîmes). POLICE – It is a refrain that returns to each case of its kind. After the fatal shootings on the Pont-Neuf at the end of April, after the death of a motorist in Marseille in August 2021 or that of a truck driver in Montauban the year before, and of course since the shootings against a car in Barbès at the beginning of June, which cost the life of a passenger, the figure is repeated constantly: there would be “a refusal to comply in France every 15 to 20 minutes”. This Monday, June 6, the unions are also hammering it at will. The SCSI (Union of Internal Security Executives) is calling for a “major action plan” against a “scourge” that would affect France more than its neighbors, the secretary general of Unite-SGP is asking for a presumption of innocence for the police officers who are victims, and his counterpart in the SICP commissioners demands that “the thugs who want to send our colleagues to coffins” be severely condemned. Since becoming Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin has also mentioned a similar figure. In the fall of 2020 after the death of a police officer killed by a driver in Le Mans, he spoke of a refusal every 30 minutes. At the end of 2021, he repeated it to defend the action of the government, as you can see below. At the same time, the then Prime Minister, Jean Castex, cited him as a “refusal to comply every 30 minutes” to justify tougher penalties for this type of offense. But where does this figure come from? It appeared in 2019 after the publication of the annual report of the National Interministerial Observatory for Road Safety, as reported by our colleagues from BFMTV in this report. Refusals to comply, but not only… In the report, we can actually read that 29,485 offenses “obstructing the control of law enforcement” were counted in 2019, and a few dozen more the previous year , with a remarkable increase compared to the previous reference year, 2014. If we relate this figure to the number of minutes in a year, we arrive at 17.8, i.e. this “refusal to comply with all 15 to 20 minutes” in France. Except there’s a catch. If among these offenses impeding the control of law enforcement, the Observatory does count refusals to comply, it is not only that in the statistical category. There are also “hit and run offenses, refusal to verify alcoholic status or the use of devices that interfere with police instruments”. However, and this is what is interesting, these offenses are indeed wider and more common than a refusal to comply. According to the Highway Code, the latter is defined as follows: “The fact, for any driver, of omitting to obey a summons to stop emanating from an official or an agent responsible for noting violations and provided with the exterior and visible insignia of its quality.” But the hit-and-run can consist of a simple collision with a rear-view mirror in a car park without stopping, for example, since it suffices, for the occupant of any vehicle, “knowing that he has just cause or cause an accident, not to stop and thus attempt to escape the criminal or civil liability that he may have incurred”. This is enough to qualify the recurrence of “refusal to comply” repeated by representatives of the police and political leaders. Be that as it may, the previous government (with Gérald Darmanin already at the Ministry of the Interior) has already taken measures aimed at more severely penalizing refusals to comply. In May 2021, on the set of France 2, Prime Minister Jean Castex had thus announced “double the prison sentence (from one to two years, editor’s note) and automatically suspend the driving license” of the authors of these refusals, or seize the vehicle for people who drive without a license or with a license already suspended. Visibly insufficient developments in the eyes of the police unions. See also on the HuffPost: “We avoided deaths”, Gérald Darmanin congratulates the management of Didier Lallement despite the fiasco of the Stade de France

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