It's a first. This Thursday, the General Inspectorate of the National Gendarmerie (IGGN) presented its annual report at a press conference at the Quartier des Célestins, the headquarters of the Republican Guard located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Last year, this report was made public for the first time, but without an interview with journalists. "Reporting on the action of the IGGN responds to a strong and legitimate expectation of transparency expressed on several occasions by the population, and in particular during the movement of yellow vests", assures Alain Pidoux, head of the IGGN since the 1st. July 2020. This little-known body wants to be "more open and transparent" on the internal control it exercises over the 134,000 gendarmes in France, and promises "to go further next year with more targeted and detailed studies ".
The French complain more about their gendarmes
Last year, 1,783 complaints were registered on the online platform of the national gendarmerie, available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior (+ 23% compared to 2019).
Individuals denounce in descending order the lack of professionalism or impartiality of the gendarmes, the refusal to intervene or take a complaint, abuse of power, insults and the disproportionate or illegitimate use of force.
“This significant increase is explained by the management of the pandemic, nuance Alain Pidoux, nearly half of the complaints are outside the field of competence of the IGGN and relate in particular to the challenge of verbalizations in this unprecedented context.
However, 10% of complaints revealed ethical breaches on the part of the gendarmes.
“I see a better visibility of the IGGN and an increased knowledge of our methods of referral, welcomes General Pidoux, as long as we have requests, it is because we are well identified.
An increase in internal reports
Via the “Stop discri” platform, 242 gendarmes complained of abusive behavior by their peers.
This tool, effective since 2014, allows gendarmes to report situations of moral or sexual harassment, discrimination, violence or sexist acts of which they have been victims or witnesses at work.
"Like the complaints of individuals, this 20% increase corresponds to a societal phenomenon of the freedom of the victims to speak out which has emerged for several years", analyzes the head of the IGGN.
While some reports have not yet been closed, 30% of the sexual harassment situations denounced (exclusively by women gendarmes) have already been confirmed, as well as a quarter of the complaints of discrimination.
4,000 gendarmes victims of attacks or attempts
Each year, the IGGN counts the number of soldiers from the national gendarmerie attacked by individuals, a number that it stops on December 31. On this date last year, it revealed that more than 4,000 gendarmes were victims of attacks or attempts, some 800 gendarmes more than in 2019. Four of them died.