Police or Gendarmes, who not to go to?

Hello all, or should I say 'allo allo allo' ?

This discussion gets it's inspiration from a blog post I put up last week about needing help to find someone in Tours, who's trying to defraud me from my car insurance and avoid responsibility for an accident he caused. The blog is here; http://www.survivefrance.com/xn/detail/3339392:BlogPost:398725?xg_source=activity

My question to you all is, were you aware of the difference between Gendarmes and Police, and how do we decide which group of law enforcers to contact?' I assume in an emergency, the person manning the phones decides.

I was only aware of the difference in training and administration, Gendarmes being military and Police being civil. But after last weeks little fiasco, I started to wonder about who to approach for my traffic problem in Tours, and I've now discovered it's a geographical distinction as well, with Gendarmes dealing more with countryside issues and police based in towns.

I'm also wondering if anyone knows more about how they manage the use of two systems as to my outsiders viewpoint, it seems absurd to suppose that there won't be either needless rivalry or wasteful duristriction disputes. And how do they view each other? And how do the French view them? I've heard most French prefer the Police and distrust gendarmes, which seems unsurprising , as I expect gendarmes would be used by any twisted government official to intervene badly in anything political kicking off.

I can imagine the rows, "no, you do it, it's on your patch, the mayor's a friend of his so it's too close to home and I'm already on overtime"...."no, you do it, the complainant lives in town, the mayor's a friend of his and I need to go and polish my boots"...no offense to any police or gendarmes intended, except the ones who were rude to me once, for no reason. Guess which?

yes, back light. Carol, andno, no-one died, but a lack of serious injury aside from a couple of weeks of whiplash, does not surely mean that the driver should be allowed to defraud anyone for lack of action on the part of the gendarmes? The police arn't involved. The gendarme advised me to wait longer, and I was concerned that the driver, who has already given false details, would also try to cover the damadge up, to back him up with some sort of invented lies, after all, the only proof I had was a friend in the UK, and a scibbled note from him on a piece of paper with the false address, which probably has no finger prints left on it by now and anyway, gendarmes would not test for prints on something so "trivial"; They didn't bother to test for prints at BOTH of my workshop burglaries and they didn' t even accept the burglars glove I found at the scene as evidence. My stuff is not valuble enough. I'm not rich or famous or well-connected in local circles.

I don't think all police or gendarmes are inherently trustworthy or good by nature and I certainly think they are equally as lazy as any other civil servant at times and as prone to giving bad advice.

I'm also not much on being a passive by-stander in defending my own rights & of others and if I felt I could do anything to help with getting evidence without getting in the way, I would do it.

Better news, at last! I had a phone call today from my insurance agent, who is very good generally. The driver has contacted the agent to say he has no insurance and is accepting responsibility and offering to pay the garage direct.

It's a pity he hasn't contacted me to apologise and offer me something for my trouble. I still feel very wronged by him, and if I agree to allow him to get away with it, he will have learned that his strategy paid off.

My agent says we should be careful about accepting his offer and keep the dossier open until he has paid in full. I think I am going to let the insurance agent deal with it. Maybe.Or have him up before a judge anyway,maybe. I definitely need a BIG apology, and a meal for two at a posh resto.....and a donation to SFN......and a bottle of champers....suggestions?

I visited both our local Police Municipal, today, who explained they have not got the ability to "porte plainte",and because we are too small here, we don't have police nationale, who do, so it has to be the gendarmes, so I went to the Gendarmerie, where he checked the second address out and confirmed it. Then I was advised to wait a while longer to allow the driver to send in the "constat" for the insurance. I was a bit frustrated, since he's already given a false name address and telephone number to me, which won't change, regardless of whether he decides to admit it and pay up or not. I feel I am owed more than what I should have had to start with, since I've lost sleep and had to waste an awful lot of time chasing him up already. I'm also concerned that he'll wipe away any trace of the accident by having his car fixed, lessening my chances of prooving the offence. He should get a fine at the very least for trying to defraud me and for trying to avoid responsibility for an accident. I think I'm taking dishonesty more seriously than the gendarmes.

I'm going to visit the Police Nationale in Tours and see if they will follow it up for me.

doot ded doot de doot ded oti doot doot

Hey Ron, I'm just up far too late again taking a surf on the wild side :) Coppeurs, love it.

To some extent the Police Nationale and the gendarmerie are interchangeable. Which service polices which area depends on the decision of the Prefect. Generally the countryside/city distinction holds good but you do find the gendarmerie policing some towns. Libourne recently changed from being policed by the Police Nationale to the Gendarmerie. Bordeaux I think has both; it certainly has CRS officers patrolling the city centre. Both organisations have the equivalent of CID and also various brigades to deal with Drugs,Prostitution/Trafficking etc. I think most serious criminal investigations are led by an examining magistrate .

Hey Jo ( love saying that )

I can’t tell the difference between any of the boys in blue myself,and I know a few Coppeurs… I do know that all the officers of law, order and security take their jobs very seriously here, a fact, I’m sure, which is appreciated by most on the Survive France Network.