Coronavirus: Strengthened control of health passes irritates police unions

The figure, unveiled Monday by the Minister of the Interior, gives the health authorities a cold sweat while the wave linked to the variant Omicron continues to grow: 182.000 false sanitary passes have been generated since its inception this summer. To fight against this phenomenon, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, asked the prefects meeting by videoconference the next day to strengthen controls, especially in bars and restaurants . An announcement that makes the first interested parties cringe.

“We are a Republican police force, we will follow the instructions. But by adding priority missions to priority missions without increasing the staff, this risks posing a problem, ”deplores Stanislas Gaudon, of the Alliance police union. Especially since the period is particularly sensitive. The gatherings linked to the Christmas festivities, like the many markets, require enhanced security in the face of the terrorist threat. As for New Year’s Eve, it is traditionally a time of urban violence. “This mission will necessarily remain annex, estimates Thierry Clair, deputy secretary general of Unsa Police. Our core business remains investigating and fighting against damage to property and people. ”

80. 000 customers checked every week

Currently, restaurateurs, owners of bar, theater or cinema are required to ensure that their customers do have a health pass but do not verify their identity. In short: if a person has “borrowed” the pass of his neighbor , impossible to know … unless a control of the forces of the order. According to the Interior Ministry, approximately 80. 20211220. 000 customers are checked weekly by police and gendarmes, which corresponds approximately to 000. establishments open to the public. Insufficient in the eyes of the Prime Minister. “I am giving you a firm and personal instruction to control health passes in restaurants”, insisted Jean Castex.

According to the entourage of the Minister of the Interior, instructions had already been passed in this direction last week to the directors general of the police and the gendarmerie. “Since the start of this health crisis, we have been the repressive arm of the government’s health policy,” deplores Stanislas Gaudon. This has been the case with attestation checks during lockdowns, the curfew. Now that’s the pass. ”

Legislative amendment

To limit fake passes and identity theft, some voices within the government are rising to demand that these checks can be carried out by restaurant owners. “This question will be addressed in the law”, indicated Tuesday morning Olivier Véran at the microphone of BFMTV, without specifying the content of these controls. “The application of health policy cannot rest solely on our shoulders,” says Thierry Clair. We can never be in front of all the bars or restaurants. »

But such a provision would require modification of the law since at the present time, restaurateurs are not authorized to check an identity … However, many of them do not not want to be. “To each his own profession,” says Stanislas Gaudon. Already mentioned last summer when the health pass was introduced, it was finally abandoned.