French Police unions are furious their Prime Minister has insisted there are no no-go zones in France after a Molotov attack Saturday night left one officer fighting for his life.
A group of more than a dozen hooded people swarmed around two police cars, smashing the windows and tossing Molotov cocktails through them.
Four officers were injured in the attack — one of whom was so badly burned doctors had to induce a coma.
Meanwhile figures released yesterday by the National Observatory of Delinquency and Law Enforcement revealed a 25 per cent rise in the number of officers injured while on duty between 2010 and 2015.
5,674 police officers were injured while at work in 2015 compared to 4,535 in 2010. The rise in the number of gendarmes — France’s military police — wounded in the line of duty was even more steep, going from 1,408 in 2010 to 1,807 in 2015.
Visiting the suburb of Paris in which the incident took place on Monday, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “The authority of the state will be guaranteed. There are no no-go zones”.
The Prime Minister denounced the “acts of savagery and unbearable violence” and promised the perpetrators of the attack will be caught and “severely punished”.
Denis Jacob from the Alternative police-CFDT said no-go zones do exist, and revealed that not just police but also “firefighters and pretty much any representatives of the state” are unable to safely carry out their duties in these areas.
He told TheLocal: “The police can’t apply the law in these areas, they are attacked. If the police can’t do their work it’s because there are criminals and delinquents who don’t respect the law.”
“It’s not just a problem with this government it’s a problem with all French governments over the last 20 years. Governments will never admit there are no-go zones because it’s a sign of a failed state.”
The officers left wounded Saturday night had been protecting a CCTV camera in an area of Viry-Châtillon plagued by robberies on motorists. The cameras keeping watch had been damaged twice in recent weeks.
Police unions say the events in Viry-Châtillon highlight the problem of officers being unnecessarily exposed to danger.
Synergie-Officiers head Patrice Ribeiro commented: “Get two of our vehicles with four officers to monitor a camera that isn’t even filming anything? It makes no sense!”