Faced with the growing number of complaints from residents living in the north-east of Paris and in order not to abandon them the field of communication on the nuisances caused by crack trafficking, the Paris public prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, and the Paris police prefect, Didier Lallement, wanted to let it be known that they had grasped the problem head on.
During a press conference held Thursday, November 19 in the premises of the prefecture and entitled “Fight against crack in Paris”, they in turn reaffirmed the mobilization of their services. Didier Lallement thus recalled that his action “Consisted of ensuring that public space was not confiscated by minorities”, recalling the evacuation several months ago from the “crack hill”, Porte de La Chapelle. The Paris prosecutor, for his part, said he wanted to lead a “Determined penal policy in the face of a very precarious and very degraded population in terms of health combined with a health and therapeutic response”.
The director of the local security department of the Paris agglomeration (DSPAP), Valérie Martineau, indicated that crack trafficking, if it was “Quantitatively marginal” – 444 kg of drugs have been seized since the start of the year, including 1.6 kg of crack – “Very localized” – the 10e, 18e and 19e arrondissements of Paris account for 85% of crack-related offenses in the capital – was nevertheless “A very visible phenomenon, accentuated by confinement, which affects the appearance of the public road”. She then specified the actions “Protean” which were carried out in particular with the regional transport security and the night staff of the Paris anti-crime brigade.
Developments to Stalingrad
In consultation with the City of Paris, improvements are underway on the Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad in the 19e district in order to limit the possibilities to consumers, estimated at around 1,500 people and whose “Typical profile” has been described as a “Adult man very regularly in an irregular situation”, to assemble where they cannot be seen by the police. “The brightness of the square has been increased and some arcades have been blocked”, thus indicated the commissioner of the district, Florence Adam.
The director of regional transport security, Mr. Cabon, stressed that there was no network of traffickers in the traditional sense of the term. “We are dealing with ants trafficking”, he said while reassuring the audience by claiming to be “A sizeir”. Several speakers described a traffic which was not competing with that of cocaine, which forms part of the composition of crack, and which did not generate significant revenues like other narcotic products. Of the 44 files that were handled by the 19e district, only 24,459 euros of criminal assets were seized.
However, the Paris prosecutor’s office sometimes uses investigative resources devoted to organized crime to identify “Managers” who can each manage three to four vendors and locate rudimentary kitchens, most often in Seine-Saint-Denis, where crack is made, as Julie Colin, head of the section in charge of the fight against drug trafficking at the Paris prosecutor’s office.
As for consumers arrested, they may be targeted by a ban on appearing in points of sale, which will then be entered in the file of wanted persons. They can also be the subject of an alternative therapeutic injunction to prosecution, recalled his colleague Nicolas Hennebelle, as was the case for 355 of them since the beginning of the year. When questioned on the subject, Didier Lallement and Rémy Heitz, on the other hand, said they were opposed to the opening of a new consumption room at lower risk in Paris.