More and more mayors have been attacked in France, demanding measures

VIOLENCE – Miribel-Les-Échelles, Croisilles, Saint-Philippe-d’Aiguille. Three towns whose population does not exceed 2,000 inhabitants, and that are still being talked about at the national level in recent days. For the same sad reason: your mayor was attacked in the middle of the summer.

Each time, it is more or less the same story. In a small town, the councilor is called upon to put an end to a night noise, a wild party, or the launch of fireworks. The situation worsens, the culprits refuse to obey and the mayor is pushed, beaten, beaten.

“Violence against the head of public power” that is increasing, according to the figures of the Ministry of the Interior by our colleagues from Sunday newspaper. Since last January, 233 mayors or deputies have suffered an attack, an increase of 14% compared to the same period of the previous year (198 cases).

“Specific and aggravated” sanctions required

Likewise, the trend of the last two years seems to confirm this progression, since the 361 acts of violence in 2018 followed the 388 attacks last year. With, at the beginning of August 2019, a minimum reached at the time of the death of Jean-Mathieu Michel, chosen from the small town of Signes, in the Var, who had been killed while trying to prevent a van from dumping waste into a wild dump. .

But practically a year after this tragedy, those responsible have not yet been brought to justice. And it’s good what worries the Association of Mayors of France (AMF), which claims in the columns of the JDD that “punctual and aggravated” sanctions be taken and that they “intervene with greater speed”.

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“This situation has lasted too long and exasperates all mayors,” insists the AMF. Regarding the messages of support sent by the government, and in particular the new Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, it is time, according to the body chaired by François Baroin, to do better: “Beyond compassion, the government must act if he really wants to protect ”the mayors and deputies of France.

Small steps, but …

Because at the moment, “the mayor is very often tempted to be discouraged and disappointed,” as he regrets, always with the Sunday weekly Philippe Bas, senator LR who wrote last week to Prime Minister Jean Castex asking him to act. The president of the Senate Law Commission – an institution whose electorate is made up for the most part by elected officials of the municipal councils – thus calls for “a government plan for the safety of mayors”, which includes the creation of support cells elected officials who have been attacked.

So yes, a law passed in December certainly strengthens their legal protection and the former Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet in November asked prosecutors, through a circular, to carry out a “firm criminal policy” in these types of cases, but the figures show that this is not enough to guarantee the safety of elected officials.

“We must stop a form of acceptance of an unacceptable phenomenon”, insists in the JDD Philippe Bas, who proposes several ways such as the establishment of fixed fines in case of non-compliance with decrees. municipal, for example. Proposals that the Ministry of the Interior claims to study.

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