Friday 30 September 2016

Security cutbacks at French resorts

David Chazan

Published 06/07/2016 | 02:30

The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, accused the government of 'retreating in the area of security in the midst of the state of emergency.' Getty Images
The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, accused the government of 'retreating in the area of security in the midst of the state of emergency.' Getty Images

A substantial cut in the number of police deployed to guard French beaches this summer has provoked the fury of mayors who fear holidaymakers will be left vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

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CRS riot police who are routinely deployed as lifeguards each July and August are to carry guns on beaches for the first time this summer because of the high terror threat. But the number of officers is being reduced by a third, from 460 last year to fewer than 300 this summer, and their mission has been shortened to only five weeks instead of two months.

The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, accused the government of "retreating in the area of security in the midst of the state of emergency".

France has been on maximum alert since the Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people.

"The terrorist threat does not take holidays," commented 'Le Parisien' newspaper, which devoted its first three pages to beach security.

"Less manpower for a shorter mission. You have to pinch yourself to believe it," the paper said in an editorial.

Holidaymakers have been alarmed by the massacre of 38 people, including 30 Britons and three Irish tourists, on a Tunisian beach last summer.

Irish Independent

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