Despite promises to increase police presence, residents of the heavily migrant-populated 18th arrondissement of Paris say they feel abandoned as crime rises in the area.
Areas within the district such as La Goutte d’Or see regular acts of violence and drug dealing while others like the Porte de La Chapelle are notorious for large migrant squatter camps and violence.
City newspaper Le Parisien reports that residents expressed despair at the situation in the district at a recent meeting with one stating that he’d lived at the same address for 42 years, but in the past six months there had been a sudden change. The resident revealed his lived experience, remarking: “…for six months, we find under our [doormats] drug pills. Young people come to pick them up. I’m getting scared.”
Paris Taxi Drivers Avoiding Migrant Areas so Not to Shock Tourists https://t.co/9QofqOMWLu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 8, 2019
Colombe Brossel, security advisor to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, wrote a letter to French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner expressing the views of residents.
“A young woman with a tiny baby looked me in the eye and said: ‘When I get out of the subway, there are 200 metres to go, and I am harassed. I do not want to see my child grow up in this environment’,” Brossel said.
“My teenage daughter is obliged to wear a vest even in summer, not to be insulted,” another resident told Brossel.
Business owners in the area have also grown weary of the rise in crime with some closing their doors.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 20, 2019
Karim Drif shut down his business, which used to belong to his grandmother, saying: “This restaurant was my life, my story… But I’m worn out. What do I do when knives fly around customers? When they have lunch on the terrace two metres away from drug traffickers?”
Last year, it was revealed that even leftists have begun to complain about the area, attempting to move their children to schools in other districts rather than “sacrifice” their child to their own multicultural beliefs.
Taxi drivers have also been avoiding driving through the area according to a report from earlier this year, so as not to shock tourists visiting Paris.
“When I really have no choice, I go through the Porte de la Chapelle, but I see that the tourists are not reassured, that they are afraid. Me too… There is a certain aggressiveness of people on the street. It’s not nice for anyone,” one taxi driver said.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 22, 2019