'Protect us': French police protest attacks on officers

The discontent within the police will trouble President Emmanuel Macron, who wants to show voters he is strong on law and order ahead of next year's election, when the far-right leader Marine Le Pen is expected to mount the biggest challenge.

Police unions complain that the government is failing to protect officers from daily attacks that leave some afraid of doing their jobs in certain towns and cities.

The protest took place after a month-long period which saw a policeman killed during an anti-narcotics operation and a police force employee stabbed to death outside her commissariat.

However, human rights groups and ethnic minority associations have frequently levelled accusations of brutality and systemic racism against the police force itself.