French police commander in New Caledonia quits over domestic violence conviction

The new French police commander in New Caledonia has quit his post after it became known that he had a conviction for domestic violence.

Colonel Eric Steiger, who had become the head of the gendarmerie in Noumea last month, asked to be relieved of his position following an outcry by New Caledonian politicians.

They had asked the French Interior Minister to remove Colonel Steiger after the French news site Mediapart reported that last year he was given a suspended six-month prison sentence which on appeal was changed to a 6,000 EURO fine.

The minister said he has taken note and a new commander will be appointed soon.

Colonel Steiger said he didn't want attacks on him to cast doubt on the commitment of the French state and the police to fight domestic violence.

AFP has reported Colonel Steiger has recently said no police officer convicted for domestic violence should be in contact with the public.


Photo source Midlibre  Caption: Colonel Eric Steiger