French police officer found dead in PM′s garden | News | DW | 05.11.2018
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French police officer found dead in PM's garden

A French military policeman has been found dead in the garden of the country's prime minister, Edouard Philippe, following an apparent suicide. Some 20 other gendarmes have reportedly taken their own lives in 2018.

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French police face emergency

The body of a 45-year-old French gendarme was found in the gardens of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's official residence, Hotel de Matignon, on Monday morning. The officer — a member of the prestigious Republican Guard, part of the armed forces' policing branch — was discovered in uniform beside his firearm.

Philippe, who was visiting the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, sent his condolences to the officer's family, according to a statement. It said an investigation into the death would be carried out by the gendarmerie and the Paris prosecutor.

Some 20 gendarmes have committed suicide so far this year, according to reports cited by France's AFP news agency. One took his own life over the weekend, another last month. An additional 24 police officers have killed themselves in France during 2018. 

About 200 officers demonstrated in the French capital last month, accusing authorities of failing to improve their working conditions.

Officers serving at the Hotel de Matignon published an anonymous letter addressed to their superiors, describing a "deep unease" over working conditions and a "general fatigue and overwork" amongst officers .

The 19-page letter appeared in the Gendarmerie newspaper L'Essor. An internal evaluation has been launched into the allegations.  

kw/rt (AP, AFP)

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