The National Assembly adopted, Friday morning November 20, a series of measures intended to strengthen the supervision and missions of private security, a growing sector. These provisions were adopted as part of the first reading of the proposed “comprehensive security” law, which is also the subject of lively debate on its section concerning the image of the police and freedom of the press.
The rise of private security must be encouraged in particular by the organization by France of the 2023 Rugby World Cup and then the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. “For the Olympics we will need at least 24,000 or 25,000 private security agents. It is off the mark (…) We must recruit “, declared Jean-Michel Fauvergue (LRM), former boss of the RAID, elite unit of the national police, and co-rapporteur of the text.
MEPs discussed at length the use by these companies of subcontractors ” Cascade “, a practice criticized by many elected officials for being a source of opacity. The Assembly adopted an amendment by Laurence Vishnievsky (MoDem), which provides that subcontractors cannot “Perform 50% or more of the amount of a contract” private security.
Surveillance missions against terrorist acts
Another amendment by rapporteur Alice Thourot (LRM) prohibits subcontracting “Beyond the second rank”. A clause was also introduced aimed at creating a “Private security observatory”, in order to “Identify the facts and practices of the sector”. The bill also provides for promoting the employment of former police officers, by allowing employment and retirement to be combined.
The 170,000 private security agents will be punished more severely in the event of slippage. Their attackers, perpetrators of physical violence or threats, also. Fluency in the French language will be required, as well as knowledge of “Values of the Republic” for foreigners.
Their outfit “Must not lead to any confusion with those of other public service employees, in particular the police services”, but she will understand “One or more common identification elements”. The text also provides for empowering them to carry out surveillance missions against terrorist acts on the public highway, on an exceptional basis and with the authorization of the prefect. They can also be associated with safety pat-down operations.
Socialist deputies tried, unsuccessfully, to pass an amendment aimed at “Contest the increased development of private security activities” to the detriment of the national police and the gendarmerie.