“Police violence”: How does the IGPN work?
While protests against the pension reform are raging in France, the “police violence” denounced by the demonstrators is increasing drastically. The main role of the IGPN is to investigate possible abuses by police officers, but how does it really work?
The IGPN is by definition “the General Inspectorate of the National Police”, specifically it is responsible for two main tasks. The first consists of conducting studies, also called audits, within the police institution and then proposing opportunities for improvement. Secondly, it must be ensured that the police generally respect laws, regulations and the national police code of ethics. The IGPN also has a duty to investigate possible abuses and injustices committed by members of the police force.
Nevertheless, the “Police of the Scriptures” sees itself exposed to a lot of criticism with its way of working. There are many, both among the population and among the law enforcement agencies, who want reform.
The four letters that make up the acronym have come to symbolize the general unease surrounding police actions. The IGPN has managed the feat of rising from the status of the most hated service in the police ranks to the service most criticized by the population. Here remains the whole paradox of this institution, which in recent years has acquired a double reputation: the internally conveyed one, where officers caught in the act have to be treated very severely, and the circulating one externally, where the service is often satirized because of its negligence, partiality and lack of transparency, especially when it comes to files related to “police violence”.
Since the mobilizations began on January 19, 2023, Gérald Darmanin and the leader of the IGPN, in protest against the pension reform, have declared 36 judicial investigations by the General Inspectorate of the National Police and two by the National Gendarmerie to be judicial [IGGN] were opened.
One of the ongoing investigations involves the heavily deprecated BRAV-M. In fact, three weeks ago an audio document was broadcast implying members of the BRAV-M, that police intervention group made up of couples on motorcycles who intervene mainly at demonstrations. We hear police officers, introduced as members of the unit, make insulting, demeaning and humiliating remarks about seven young mobilized people. Police Prefect Laurent Nuñez then announced that he had seized the IGPN for an administrative inquiry after the broadcast of this audio. He proclaimed that law enforcement officers must set an example and show clear signs of respect for our fellow citizens, such as formal addressing in particular, which was evidently not the case when registering with ‘Support’.
Therefore, despite its obvious shortcomings, the IGPN tries to carry out the tasks assigned to it, so if you are a victim or witness of illegal behavior by national police officers, you can easily contact them, based on your testimony.