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The Time Bomb of Rest and Leave in the French Mobile Gendarmerie

Last updated on 28th July 2019

We knew that the mobile gendarmerie was overheating because of the Yellow Vests crisis. But the figures for rest and leave prove it. Unveiled on Thursday, May 16th, by the Army corps general Michel Labbé, they show the extent of the phenomenon.

According to the head of the General Inspectorate of the National Gendarmerie (IGGN), the mobile gendarmes have accumulated an average of about 5.86 days of rest not taken and 37.74 days of leave. “We live on credit,” summarised the general officer in front of the commission of inquiry of the National Assembly concerning the means of the security forces.

Increasing debt

Unlike the CRS, their police counterparts, the mobile gendarmes cannot be paid to settle these days not taken – a debt that increases with the continuation of the Yellow Vests crisis. Since January 1st the average rate of employment of mobile gendarmerie squadrons has been 74 per day. The Army considers that this rate should be 65 per day for sustainable management. In all, the Gendarmerie has 109 squadrons of mobile gendarmerie.

To “minimise the difficulties”, the Army moves shifts to Overseas and lengthens the duration of stay of squadrons. But, warns General Labbé, “the limits of these processes of adaptation remain minimal compared to the stakes”. The gendarmerie has so far been saddled with nearly 450 wounded in the Yellow Vests crisis, including 190 mobile police officers.


Gabriel Thierry, L’Essor

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