Par Jacques De Maillard, Carole Gayet-Viaud et Fabien Jobard
dans Penal Issues, 2017.
Jacques de Maillard, Carole Gayet-Viaud and Fabien Jobard describe a survey evaluating an innovation in French policing: police auxiliaries whose objective is to restore public’s trust and confidence in the police. The investigation was the object of a research agreement signed in 2014 with the National Agency for Social Cohesion and Equal Opportunities, following a joint initiative by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministerial Delegation for Urban Affairs.
The Trust in Police Auxiliaries (henceforth TPA1) are retired police officers whose mission is to bring the police and the public closer, in neighbourhoods identified as high-priority security-wise; that is, working-class districts, high-rises, and housing projects. This function was created and developed in two phases: first, in 2008 with the President Sarkozy’s “Hope for the Suburbs Plan” (Plan Espoirs Banlieue), then in 2012 within the Top Priority Security Zones (Zones de Sécurité Prioritaire), which, inspired from the notion of “hotspots”, were created by the socialist government in August 2012. In 2015 there were 111 auxiliaries: 34 at the Paris Police Headquarters (PP), 77 for the rest of the country, under the Direction centrale de la sécurité publique (DCSP) that is the Central Directorate of Uniformed Police2. In a political context where the relations between the police and the public are deteriorated, as so often described and denounced3, the definition of the overall goal is both vague and ambitious, since, according to the memorandum dated March 11, 2009, “each auxiliary should aim at eliciting a trustful atmosphere in the area to which he/she is assigned, by establishing many personal contacts with the public, the elected officials, the public housing agency, janitors, the National Education personnel, health professionals and neighbourhood associations”.