MOST SECRET PLACE IN FRANCE …

    Is it possible to hide something which is 35,000 sq m (376,737 sq f or 8.65 acres) large? In France, it is being done. This most-secret ‘thing’ is hidden away on a terrain of 11.6 hectares (29 acres). And even if I know where this is in France, I won’t tell you: won’t […]

 

 

Is it possible to hide something which is 35,000 sq m (376,737 sq f or 8.65 acres) large?

In France, it is being done.

This most-secret ‘thing’ is hidden away on a terrain of 11.6 hectares (29 acres).

And even if I know where this is in France, I won’t tell you: won’t be able to tell you.

I will though tell you that even those living in the nearby towns and villages, or those working in an industrial area around this most-secret ‘thing’, do not know what is going on behind the iron grills which protect it.  All that they see is a giant warehouse.

So, why can’t I reveal where this ‘giant warehouse’ is?

It is there where the French police and gendarmerie (militarised police) store their firearms and other equipment, some of these being manufactured on site, or are newly-manufactured, or have been bought from other countries, or are being repaired, or being tested, or modified.

It is, in other words, an armoury: France’s armoury.

Last week France’s Minister of the Interior (or rather ex-Minister of the Interior as a financial scandal forced him to resign on March 21) – Bruno Le Roux – invited a select group of journalists to visit the site.

Accordingly, we now know that 150 people work in this armoury. They are engineers, technicians, mechanics and staff like administrative personnel, cleaners and sweepers, each and every one of them having been granted security clearance and undergoing regular security checks.

In 2016, 20,136 items had gone through their hands. Included were 500 vehicles which the police and gendarmerie would use for patrolling our cities, towns, villages and countryside, for setting up road blocks, patrol highways, staking out premises, tailing vehicles, and for intervening where the long arm of the law is required.

Of the arms having gone through this place, or which is still on site, are bullet-proof vests weighing 11 kilos (24.5 lb) through which even the bullet of a Kalashnikov won’t penetrate; bullet-proof  helmets, these also not allowing through a Kalashnikov bullet; protective eye-shields, rifles to fire flash-balls; Sig Sauer pistols carried by France’s police, gendarmes, Customs controllers and penitentiary  guards; HK UMP submachine guns which you will see our police carrying here in Paris and which has a range of 50 m (165 feet) with a 9 mm bullet. Also, the vehicles used by our police and gendarmes, all of them these days bullet-proof.

The HK UMP used by France’s police

Allowing journalists into the armoury was part of the State’s effort to assure those of us who live in France, and those visiting the country, that we are indeed being protected.

As the Minister pointed out, in 2015 France had spent € 17 million ($18,363,400 / £14,748,010) on its BAC-PSIG Plan, and in 2016 all of € 250 million ($279,050,000 / £216,882,500). The BAC-PSIG Plan  covers our overall protection. BAC stands for ‘Brigades Anti-criminalité’ (Anti-Criminal Brigade) and PSIS stands for ‘Pelotons de Surveillance et d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie’  (Supervisory and Intervention Squad of the Gendarmerie).

You can read about it here:

Recently, there have been demonstrations in France, especially in Paris and the Paris suburbs against police violence.

So here I will say:

 I do not find the police violent.

I mean, hell, they are up against the most violent individuals.

So what are they to do when confronted by a violent individual: Offer him a Mars Bar?

A SigSauer carried by Custom officials, municipal police and penitentiary guards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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