about fifty police officers, magistrates and lawyers demonstrate against the reform of the PJ

About 50 people demonstrated this Monday afternoon in front of the Tours courthouse to protest against the reform of the judicial police planned by the government. Police, magistrates, lawyers, prosecutor were side by side. From the second half of 2023, all the police services of the same department could be placed under the authority of a new person in charge, a departmental director of the national police, dependent on the prefect. The judicial police, which currently deals with the most serious cases, could therefore be redirected towards more down-to-earth missions than the fight against organized crime.

“The job of the PJ, typically, is to start from a deal point in our neighborhoods and unroll all the links above” – ​​A PJ investigator from Tours

We track down a particular delinquency and we are lucky enough to be able to do so with technical means. On the other hand, on the part of the magistrates, we have a little carte blanche in terms of investigation” explains one of the investigators of the judicial police of Tours. “I, for example, am a narcotics investigator and from a small city traffic, I can go back to the suppliers in Morocco. In terms of narcotics, the work of the PJ is typically to start from the point of deal in our districts of Republican reconquest, for example, such as Sanitas or Saint-Pierre-des-Corps or La Rabière and to unroll all the links above“.

Benefit from time, it is the great luxury of the PJ

The representatives of the different professions who take part in this gathering all point out that this allows the PJ to fight effectively against organized crimethis is the time available to the investigators: “currently, public safety colleagues have portfolios of 200 to 300 files each. We are on ten files. We can afford to work thoroughly on a file for six months, a year, sometimes 24 hours a day” recognizes one of the investigators of the judicial police of Tours. Same observation from Bérangère Théry, deputy prosecutor: “today, if there is a crime happening in Tours, I have the choice between going to public security, which currently has 19,000 procedures in stock, and the judicial police, which has about fifty.” explains the young woman, who is also a member of the magistrates’ union. “The judicial police have more resources, that’s the principle. This assures me that I can decide that there is a specialized service which will take care of this investigation and which will have much more time than another service. Tomorrow, I will be obliged to seize the police station and it is the new departmental director of the police who will decide what means of investigation will be implemented for this offense“.

“Today, if there is a crime happening in Tours, I have the choice between going to public security, which currently has 19,000 procedures in stock, and the judicial police, which has around fifty” – Bérangère Théry, Deputy Public Prosecutor of Tours

What worries the opponents of this reform is possible loss of efficiency : for Bérangère Théry, “instead of investigating a crime or organized drug trafficking, members of the judicial police may have to carry out checks in the streets or the fight against urban rodeos, according to the priority policies decided by the Ministry of the Interior, and no longer the priority policies decided by the judicial authority“. One of the investigators of the judicial police concludes: “we have no better skills than our colleagues in public security. It’s quite simply that there are not the same requirements in terms of work and expectations from hierarchical superiors. If we are attached to the same hierarchical superiors, we will do like everyone else, we will recover work in quantity, not necessarily in quality“.

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