“We do not develop the surveillance society in the fight against insecurity, rather, insecurity is used as an excuse to justify the surveillance society.”
Many blame the police for its relative weakness, not to mention its inaction in the fight against insecurity, an inaction that is reflected by crime statistics. But this is misunderstanding the current function of the police. The current function of the police is not to fight insecurity. It is, which is quite different, to control and monitor people. Not just some people, as claimed by the authorities (offenders, criminals, terrorists, etc..), but all of them. Even if the whole country turned into a no-go zone, the surveillance society would keep functioning. The police also know very well what happens in these no-go zones (who does what, when, how, etc..). But it does not intervene. Insecurity is only a pretext. We do not develop the surveillance society in the fight against insecurity, rather, insecurity is used as an excuse to justify the surveillance society. The politicians’ fear, their real fear actually, is not insecurity, but the potential retaliations against insecurity. Against that, they are not kidding. The laws in this area are applied to their full extent. This is the only one area where they are applied, but here they are applied thoroughly. The slightest deviation in this area comes at a high price. Legislation on gun ownership and self-defense has also become very restrictive. The consequence is that acts of self-defense are now increasingly rare. Three years ago [in 2002] a 15-year-old schoolgirl, who was a good student, with no police record, killed her attacker, who was “well-known by the police,” planting him with a knife. The prosecutor incarcerated her at once. “Faced with such a serious act, it was hard not to mark the occasion,” he said. Indeed, this is exceptional. In general, victims do not defend themselves. This is what the prosecutor meant.
Éric Werner, Éléments #118, Autumn 2005, pp. 29-30 (translation Roman Bernard)