Migrant-Populated District of Paris Sees 200 Fines Daily for Lockdown Violations

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 18: Shoppers visit a food market in a popular district of the 18th Arrondissement, where police advise the crowds on measures taken by the government to combat the spread of COVID-19 on March 18, 2020 in Paris, France. France imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the …
Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

The heavily migrant-populated 18th arrondissement is seeing 200+ violations of anti-coronavirus lockdown measures daily as authorities struggle to keep residents off the streets.

Since the lockdown restrictions were implemented by President Emmanuel Macron on March 17th, a hundred police officers have been deployed every day on the streets in the 18th arrondissement — but many are ignoring the rules, according to police divisional commissioner Emmanuelle Oster.

Areas such as grocery shops are still seeing congregations of people, with officer Oster saying that many people gather to purchase alcohol and other items and while individual fines range from 135 to 200 euros, the area has not seen a general reduction in violations.

The residents of the area were caught largely ignoring the measures from the start, with a French journalist recording various video clips of people gathering in large crowds and becoming angry and combative with police officers trying to enforce the rules.

“There is an urgent need to ensure the health of all,” Oster said, noting that some people have been making multiple trips outside per day in the district.

Jean-Raphael Bourge, president of the residents’ association Action Barbès, was more critical of the situation, saying, “This scene is less a manifestation of non-compliance with the rules than an act of rebellion.”

“It highlights the conflicting relationship that some young people may have with the authorities,” he added.

While many of those fined for violating the rules live in the area, the district also has a problem with non-residents coming there to buy speciality goods including various African products and specific foods.

Commissioner Oster also highlighted the problems with the homeless migrant population in the area, saying: “Ninety per cent of the groupings that we see concern the migrant population, the homeless and drug addicts.”

Residents of the 18th arrondissement have expressed concerns about their problems with illegal migrants, particularly migrant minors, committing various kinds of crimes, for months.

In June of last year, locals said they felt abandoned by the government as crime surged in the area.

Areas like the Porte d’Aubervilliers, which lies on the border of the 18th and 19th arrondissements, have also seen makeshift migrant camps emerge, needing to be cleared over and over again. In January, a makeshift camp was cleared for the 60th time since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

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


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