Tourists protest against the arrest of British ski instructor
Published 04/04/2013 | 10:57
Tourists have protested outside a French police station following the arrest of a British ski instructor accused of teaching illegally, it has been reported.
The instructor, named in reports as Alex Casey, aged 40, from Kent, was arrested for allegedly giving lessons to learners in the resort of Megeve without the top qualification that France demands.
But angry demonstrators said the arrest is just the latest incident in an attempt to drive out foreign instructors from the country.
Mr Casey, who is said to have been an instructor in the resort for more than a decade, reportedly claimed he was videoing skiers when he was arrested by the Gendarmerie.
His arrest prompted dozens of tourists to protest outside the police station where he was being held in support of the "highly popular" instructor.
In France would-be ski instructors must undergo a tough race test following their training to be granted a licence to teach.
Mr Casey is an instructor for Simon Butler Skiing, which also runs two chalets in the ski resort of Megeve.
His colleague Simon Butler told The Daily Telegraph: "Alex is a highly popular instructor, and that's why so many people decided to protest about his arrest.
"The police kept him all day and night in a cell. All of our guests have had enough, they were not even allowed to get their voice heard."
The instructor of more than 30 years added that he was also arrested at the start of the ski season for illegal instructing and is currently appealing against a three month suspended sentence.
"I was led off the slopes in handcuffs - it's pure persecution," he said.
"If this kind of thing happened to French workers in Britain there would be an absolute outcry. It's scandalous."
The British Foreign Office said it was aware of the arrest on Tuesday and is offering consular assistance.