In pre-election times, public safety is regularly one of the most discussed topics – also in Luxembourg. We spoke to the head of the police union who, among other things, is calling for a reform of police training.
By now, most people should have realised that the police union does not hide its opinion. President Pascal Ricquier, who has headed the Syndicat National de la Police Grand-Ducale for ten years now, states that "until now we have only had ministers who had no idea".
Joining Ricquier for the interview was Marco Richard, First Vice President of the SNPGL, which is said to represent around 90 per cent of active police officers. The interview took place at the SNPGL premises shortly before the verdict on the fatal shooting in Bonnevoie and before the police operation at the Christmas market in Bertrange got out of hand.
Lëtzebuerger Journal: We recently asked Luc Schiltz, who is probably the best-known policeman in Luxembourg because of his role as Inspector Capitani in the hit series of the same name, about his relationship with the police. He said that in the presence of a policeman he always has the feeling of being a thief. Many people share this feeling of having done something wrong when they are stopped by the police. Why is that?
Pascal Ricquier: That still comes from the past when people were more afraid of the police than today. But young people are no longer afraid of the police. Respect for the police was also greater in the past. The respect for a uniform is no longer there.
Is it more difficult to work as a policeman or -woman today than it was a few years ago? Judging by the very bad mood that your union says prevails among the police, you will probably answer this question with a resounding yes.
Pascal Ricquier: Our profession has become much more complicated. We also don't have enough people. New tasks are always being added, but none are being dropped, and at some point, it can no longer add up. If our people didn't work overtime, they wouldn't get their work done at all.
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