Police Charges

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A piece on Cyclismactu.net picks up on an item on French talk and sport radio station RMC. Policing reform, essentially the merger of the police force with the paramilitary gendarmerie (France has had two police forces). These gendarmes assist in races and other sports events and their has been a hourly tariff due of €2.40 which is now rising to €13.95.

As cheap as chips

This six-fold increase is bound to impact on race organisers where even a small stage race requires hundreds of police officers, especially since the change is abrupt and significant.

Nevertheless, these costs are tiny. Obviously renting a policeman for a day costs a lot more than a this. French racing in effect receives a massive subsidy from the French police forces, with security rented out on exceptionally favourable terms.

It will represent an additional cost to bear for race organisers and some races are already under financial pressure. But I’m not sure if this will result in the loss of too many events as most events get regional support and if the French government raises costs in one area, it may well raise the backing in an another.

The real problem for French cycling is lower down the scale, in the amateur races. The increasing traffic and the growing use of “street furniture” such as islands, roundabouts and lane dividers makes the roads less usable and if municipalities will fix these for the Tour de France, this doesn’t happen for a local amateur race. In populated areas like Paris the sport has had to flee, there are very few races in range of Paris these days.

Champs December 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm

As public safety officers, their work is subsidized for cycling just as it is for controlling the situation at football matches, other sporting events, or any occasion that draws large crowds, really. Hopefully, this tariff is applied equitably.

To digress, I'm glad to know that gendarmerie differ from local police. As a Yank, it's hard to wrap my head around these differences (particularly in Italy, which must have half a dozen interchangeable-but-different forces), perhaps just as it is for others to grasp what makes our city/county/state/national agencies so very distinct.

TheInnerRing December 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Champs, I know a limiting factor behind some races is the lack of police support. For example both the Tour of Britain and the Tour of California are hindered by the sheer cost of getting police support. As a sports fan and cyclist, it's nice to see this is less of a problem in France.

TdF Lanterne Rouge Blog December 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Interesting, I never knew that. Wow, it rose to a whopping US$18 per day?

I think we pay something on the order of US$250 per cop at races around here.

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