France wins Europol photo challenge but other pictures highlight poor working environment

A French police officer has taken home the top prize in an international law enforcement photo competition – as his colleagues share pictures highlighting their poor conditions.

Aug 31, 2017

A French police officer has taken home the top prize in an international law enforcement photo competition – as his colleagues share pictures highlighting their poor conditions. Fabrice Balsamo, from the National Gendarmerie, placed first in Europol’s annual photo contest for his shot of armed officers circling over Mont St Michel in a security operation at the start of the Tour de France. Runner-up was Diego Jesus Lopez Cantos, from Spain, for his picture of officers on a fiery training exercise, and Austria’s Alfred Effenberger took third for an image of police motorcyclists on patrol. (Pictures: Europol) Meanwhile, French officers have been posting photos online in their own competition to draw attention to their under-resourcing. The Union des Policiers Nationaux Indépendants (UPNI) has received hundreds of submissions, with images allegedly showing cockroach-infested police stations, damaged vehicles and decrepit buildings. One picture appears to show a police car with 500,000 kilometres on the clock, with another detailing blocked urinals in a station toilet. (Pictures: UPNI) The photos – posted on the UPNI’s Facebook page – have not been verified, but the organisation intends to invite journalists to see the conditions themselves once the contest ends on September 10. It also plans to send a physical photo album to France’s Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb. The French government has pledged €250,000 for a “public security plan” that includes measures to upgrade the Gendarmerie’s estates.

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