drugs

Desperate Paris residents launch new bid to rid streets of drug dealers

Residents of the Stalingrad neighbourhood in northern Paris have vowed to create as much noise as possible every evening until authorities address the problem of drug dealers on their streets.
Residents of the Stalingrad neighbourhood in northern Paris have vowed to create as much noise as possible every evening until authorities address the problem of drug dealers on their streets. © Flickr Gilles Klein

Dozens of residents of a district in northern Paris have banged saucepans and blown whistles in a fresh bid to force drug dealers from their streets.

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Ten days after furious residents of the Stalingrad district in northern Paris launched fireworks at the spot where dealers gather, drug trafficking continues, despite a greater police presence in the area.

The residents have vowed to create as much noise as possible every evening until the situation is resolved.

“What we saw this evening was a cry for help, people cannot take any more of this. The saucepans and noise are a message to the police but also to the local authorities," a resident told French channel BFM TV.

Jacques, who has lived in the area for 20 years is at breaking point.

“It seems as though everyone is totally powerless, that in a city like Paris, 200 people can just do what they want. The drug dealers are able to make the rules and lay down the law in a residential district," he told a reporter.

At the beginning of May, police said young people living in the area, “exasperated by problems created by the drug dealers”, appeared to be responsible for launching the fireworks towards the entrance to a building where dealers gather.

A resident told Le Figaro newspaper that many of residents were at their wits' end because they can’t sleep with the disturbance at night. "We knew something serious would happen, it was just a question of when.”

Local residents say the situation has worsened since the police cleared the so-called “Crack hill”, in the nearby la Chapelle district in 2019.

They say the police have simply displaced the problem.

Pierre Liscia, who describes himself as a “spokesperson for the forgotten residents of north-eastern Paris”, said local groups alerted the authorities about the drug dealers “a long time ago”, and that at meetings to discuss the situation people had clearly raised the possibility of “more radical solutions” to deal with them.

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