NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION

with Madeleine McMullin

Perpignan municipal police to have semi-automatics

Perpignan municipal council voted unanimously to allow municipal police officers to carry semi-automatic pistols capable of firing 15 bullets at a time.  They will spend €115,000 on the guns which they are hoping to get from the Interministerial Fund for the Prevention of Crime.  The pistols will replace the 9 bullet revolvers that the police had up till now, which were actually more expensive to buy.

No more “Bip” bikes in Perpignan

In 2008 Clear Channel offered to create a network of bikes for hire in Perpignan in exchange for the use of bus shelters for publicity.  With only 300 people signing up in 8 years, it has been announced a flop and the contract won’t be renewed when it finishes in 2017.  The failure is being blamed on the fact that you had to sign up for the service either by the month or the year and could only do it online.  You couldn’t just turn up and use your credit card to hire a bike for a few hours.  The town is thinking of alternatives that don’t include advertising with the transport.

Coqs training in P-O

The national rugby team arrived on 7th November and are based at the Flamants Roses in Canet while they spend some time training.

Health workers demonstrate

About a hundred nurses, carers and administrative personnel from the hospital sector demonstrated against the health law on Tuesday against the background of national demonstrations.

Snow makes driving difficult

The first snows of the year and black ice have been making driving conditions difficult over the last week in the higher parts of the department especially around the Col de Puymorens.

Céret Feria dates set

The Feria will be held on 14, 15, 16th July in 2017.  The complete programme is not yet finalised but bull-fights will obviously be part of it.  This will be the 30th Feria.

Strike over the “pound fiddle”

On 6th October, some municipal police officers filed a report accusing a driver from the municipal pound of altering a towing ticket which had been written out by one of them and €101 had disappeared.  The file then seemed to vanish: there was no complaint filed by either the municipality or the person in charge of the pound.  An assistant to the security forces explained that the legal department had asked the police officer to make a complaint in his own name.  The police officer said that his superiors had assured him that it would be taken care of.  The Perpignan branch of the union UNSA sent the file on 27 October to the Prefect and Public Prosecutor, saying that policemen shouldn’t make complaints in their own name when it wasn’t them that had suffered the prejudice, and that it was up to the local authority, because it was the town that was the victim of attempted fraud by one of its public servants.  In the absence of a reply, UNSA called a strike for Tuesday 8th November.  The mayor said that if the facts were proved by the enquiry, he would file a complaint.  However the DDSP (Direction Départmentale de la Sécurité publique) said 2 weeks previously that no enquiry had been put in place….

Murder & suicide in Amélie

A 52 year old man whose wife had left him and asked for a divorce, came up to their old flat which she was cleaning before handing it back at the end of the lease, and asked her to accompany him outside, before pulling a gun and shooting her in the head and then proceeding to shoot himself.  She died instantly but he was rushed to hospital where he died later.  The man had a gun licence and regularly trained at the gun range above Amélie, but only bought the arm a few days before he used it on his wife and himself.  They had 3 children, all in their teens, one of whom is a junior fireman.  The family is a local one and well-known and liked in the village.

Man gives himself up after killing wife

A 43 year old man who hit his wife on the back of the head during an argument at their home in Moyen Vernet, was arrested on the car park of the police station where he had come to give himself up.  The wife was taken to hospital and later died.  The couple were apparently getting divorced.

Woman shot husband

A 67 year old woman who shot her alcoholic husband after 47 years of abuse.  The woman had called the police and asked that he be committed to mental hospital after he had hit her on the night of 26th April 2014.  She left the flat but returned in the early hours of the morning when he apparently threatened to kill her.  She says that she was scared so went and got his gun and then shot him in the head as he tried to get off the sofa.  She has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Madeleine McMullin lives in Palalda from where she runs her marketing business Marketing66.  She has worked both in the UK and abroad, with big brand names in the interiors and design industries such as Wedgwood, Denby, Sebastian Conran, Laura Ashley, Hemingway Design……..

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