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Insecurity, trafficking, dirt … How Hidalgo wants to beef up his policy in difficult neighborhoods

The mayor of Paris wants to prohibit the distribution of food unguarded, to avoid "fixing abscess" and fights between migrants.

By Denis Cosnard Posted today at 06:31

Time to Reading 4 min.

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Tents housing migrants, Porte d'Aubervilliers, Paris, April 9.
Tents housing migrants, Porte d'Aubervilliers, Paris, April 9. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Stop the distribution of food aid that skids, stop fraudulent traders … The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, must announce Monday, April 15 a handful of "Targeted measures" intended for "Improve quickly" some "Unacceptable situations" in the popular neighborhoods of North and East of Paris. Objective: to achieve tangible results by 2019, that is to say, before the municipal elections of 2020, for which cleanliness and safety are the major issues. So it is Barbès that Rachida Dati, candidate for the nomination Republicans, has reserved his first campaign visit in March.

Dirt, insecurity, traffic of all kinds, drug addiction, prostitution, fights … In some districts like Barbès, but also Stalingrad or Porte de la Chapelle, the problems are concentrated, and the situation becomes very tense. Local residents are desperate, charities also, especially because of the deterioration of the situation in migrant camps.

Several dozen people were injured on the weekend of 6-7 April in a series of stabbing fights between migrants, including Afghans and Eritreans, near the Porte de la Chapelle. The police arrested seventeen people. Fifteen associations held a symbolic strike two days later to alert the authorities.

Strengthen municipal staff teams

For Anne Hidalgo, the state has a great responsibility in this crisis. It is up to him to manage the issue of migrants and their accommodation, says the mayor of Paris, who is pushing for the Ministry of the Interior to take action. Just as it is up to the national police to tackle drug trafficking on the "crack hill", a wasteland next to the ring road. The socialist elected has nonetheless decided to beef up its own policy in these neighborhoods.

Read also Migrants in Paris: Anne Hidalgo puts "pressure" on the state

To restore some tranquility, the City Council intends to strengthen the teams of agents of the new municipal police. A brigade will be "Present everyday, seven days a week", on the "Urban walk" located under the aerial train from Barbès to Stalingrad, and surroundings.

Newer, elected officials intend to better structure the distribution of food aid. The conclusion is clear: after the passage of some associations to distribute meals to the poor or migrants, the places are found covered with waste. This is sometimes the case around Pajol and Philippe-de-Girard streets. "In addition, this creates abscesses of fixation for refugees," and can lead to brawls, notes the Town Hall. The question of the motivations of some of these associations, and of their eventual religious proselytism, is also raised.

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