LETTER : Why the French police need to be made more accountable

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The Independent Online
I READ your article "Blood stains police image" (27 August) with little surprise. The police and security forces in France are given protection from accountability to the general public or the legal system and there is no public complaints system. I lived happily in France between 1962 and 1980 and saw that the French police were a feared and hated force. Like other French people, I avoided contact with them. Twice I was propositioned by police officers threatening to charge me with alleged traffic offences if I didn't agree to have sex with them. Speaking French, and emphasising my status as an employee of an international organisation, I managed to talk my way out on both occasions.

Your article leads me to hope that the tide of French public opinion may be turning against an institution long overdue for reform. As a lover of France and French culture, I look forward to the removal of one of the blackest spots on French life.

Patricia Burke

London N8