May 22, 2022

Crack in Paris: the prefect of police abandons his project and accuses Hidalgo

POLITICS – Didier Lallement backtracks but does not take off. After a week of controversy in Paris, the prefect of police gave up this Friday, January 28, the project to move crack users from the 19th to the 12th while summoning the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo to take responsibility.

The surprise announcement on Monday evening caused an outcry among elected officials on all sides. Despite discussions, Anne Hidalgo angrily announced to seize the European Court of Human Rights for violations of the rights of residents and drug addicts.

Faced with these threats, the police headquarters therefore decided to give up. The prefect of police “can only note his impediment by the City to carry out the evacuation to the site of the XIIth arrondissement, or any other site, the town hall having refused to make the slightest proposal” can we read in the prefectural press release, which particularly charges the mayor and PS presidential candidate.

Thus, “the prefect of police will continue to ask the City of Paris to clean the place of debris accumulated and transformed into huts, even if it means requisitioning it again as he has just done. He refuses to allow a slum to be built there, hiding traffic from the police”.

The prefect also expresses his “regrets” to the “residents of the 19th arrondissement, Pantin and Aubervilliers, who must now expect a long occupation of the public space of the square”.

A thinly veiled way of making the town hall responsible for the situation, in this fight which has pitted the elected PS, the government and the prefecture for several months.

Hidalgo accuses the prefecture of “shifting the problem”

Despite the 25 million euros mobilized for the government’s “crack plan”, no lasting solution has been found for consumers, whose wandering is synonymous with nuisance and sometimes violence for local residents. Anne Hidalgo denounces the ineffectiveness of the measures put in place and accuses the prefecture and the government of “shifting the problem” without providing a solution, in terms of health for consumers, and safety for residents.

What the prefect of police denies. “The figures are there to demonstrate the results of the very strong police presence put in place to secure the inhabitants: 388 people were arrested for trafficking in 2021” and 419 for consumption, boasts the prefecture. “It’s an illusion to try to make (residents, editor’s note) believe that quick and simple solutions are possible to allow (crack users) to heal and reintegrate”, points out Didier Lallement.

See also on The HuffPost: In Paris, they demonstrate in their park invaded by crack