Europe

France updates rules to allow short gendarmes

French gendarmes
Image caption France will no longer discriminate against short candidates for police work

France has scrapped a minimum height requirement of 1m 60cm (5ft 3ins) for police and prison officers.

A new decree from the French civil service ministry on Tuesday said police work did not justify using height as one of the selection criteria.

"From now on the conditions retained are solely those that relate to [police] duties," it said, citing as an example the use of firearms.

Rules for customs officers' "elocution" and "use of limbs" have also gone.

The customs officers had been required to have "full use of upper and lower limbs" and "elocution and phonation that allows for normal understanding of their speech".

Prison guards were previously required to have "a body mass index compatible with their designated duties".

Civil Service Minister Eric Woerth said the overhaul of job specifications was part of a drive to "open the administration up to all French people, without exception".