Police officers in Paris, France are angry after learning that they will lose their free travel pass – a move which they say will make public transport a less safe place, according to The Connexion.
Nearly 30,000 police in the capital and the surrounding suburbs have benefited from free travel since 1949 and the €23million-a-year perk applies to officers on the beat as well as those with desk jobs.
France’s public spending watchdog, the Cour des Comptes, believes the scheme is illegal as public servants should not have more than 50% of their transport costs paid for them.
Police unions have voiced strong disapproval of the changes. A spokesman for the Ile-de-France branch of the Alliance union told Europe 1: “The police administration think some officers aren’t using it – but one day they might need to.
“I don’t want to have to queue up for a ticket before I can go and help someone in need. Those minutes and seconds could be crucial.”
Unions say encouraging the police to use public transport can help other users feel safe – as an off-duty officer can intervene if they see a crime being committed.
They also say the 50% cost of a Navigo pass (about €35) will put a further financial strain on junior staff. The starting salary for a police officer in the capital is around €1,500 a month.