Residents in the no-go Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis have received three times the number of fines for breaking Wuhan coronavirus lockdown measures than the French national average.
The heavily migrant-populated department has seen a total of 41,103 tickets handed out for lockdown violations out of 242,259 checks by police, a booking rate of 17 per cent, compared to the national average of 5.9 per cent.
Fabienne Klein-Donati, a prosecutor in Seine-Saint-Denis, commented on the situation in the area telling newspaper Liberation, “At the start of confinement, we reached more than 900 ticketings per day,” but claimed the number had decreased to around 400 per day more recently.
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The prosecutor explained that several factors, including the department’s “very young population” and the continuing drug trade, have contributed to the high number of fines, with some residents being fined multiple times.
French National Centre for Scientific Research director of research Sébastian Roché claimed that the differences between Seine-Saint-Denis and other parts of France were more likely due to different approaches by the police.
The statistics come after reports from police in the Seine-Saint-Denis area claiming that they were overwhelmed trying to enforce the lockdown measures with one officer stating: “We are not going to give up. But we also know where these people live and how they live. Strict containment, for them, is just impossible.”
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The 400 to 900 fines per day in Seine-Saint-Denis also dwarf those of nearby northern Paris and the also heavily migrant-populated 18th arrondissement which reported 200 fines per day as many ignored the lockdown measures earlier this month.
Areas of Seine-Saint-Denis were also involved in riots and attacks on police officers that took place last week following the injury of a motorcyclist in Hauts-de-Seine after an encounter with local police.
The rioting lasted several days despite the strict lockdown measures and saw several serious incidents, including local youths attempting to set a police station on fire in Strasbourg and a fire set in a school in Gennevilliers.