Chinese Community in Troubled Paris Suburb Patrol Streets Following Robberies

Members of Paris' Chinese community of the northeastern Paris' Belleville district hold French flags as they take part in the demonstration organized by franco-chinese associations to call for 'the right to live together in security' on June 19, 2011 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read …

A dozen members of the Chinese community in the Parisian suburb of Créteil have begun to patrol the streets at night following a wave of aggressive robberies as they claim the police do not do enough.

The men, all aged between 40 and 50 years old, patrol the streets of the suburb after dark until around midnight to prevent attacks against members of their community, Le Parisien reports.

One of the men, a 43-year-old named Xu, said that members of the community were tired of seeing people robbed and attacked in the area.

“We are very angry. Women coming home from work late at night are having their bags stolen, with the money, the papers. Some fell, broke their hands. In April, a 75-year-old woman was attacked,” Xu said and added: “We work, we pay taxes. We are here, it’s clean, we do not want to leave.”

Xu said that the patrol was for the safety of the community and though they did often call the police during situations, he complained of their inaction saying they would stay in their cars.

At least one woman in the community said that the presence of the men reassured her and that she had not heard of many aggressive incidents since the patrols began in May.

The patrol echoes the frustrations of residents of other parts of both Paris and other cities in France over the inability of the police and government to get petty crime under control in no-go zones.

In Northern Paris some 1,600 residents signed a letter demanding the government do more to tackle criminality from migrant street gangs, leading to the French police employing several police officers from Morocco earlier this month to aid them in tackling the problem.

In neighbouring Belgium, citizens of the village of Zeebrugge near Bruge have also become fed up with migrant crime and even threatened to take the law into their own hands because they felt the police were not doing enough.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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