French Cop to No-Go Zone Residents: Just Move, or Go Vigilante

Armed gendarmes stand guard in a street in Marseillan, about 40 kilometres southwest from

A police officer has told residents in the no-go zone of Montpellier that if they are sick of violence and verbal abuse from local youths, they should either move or adopt the vigilante methods used in Corsica and handle their own problems.

Last Friday, residents of the Hauts de Massane district made repeated phone calls to police over incidents of youths breaking into houses and garages, stealing, throwing rocks at vehicles, and screaming profanities at inhabitants.

“I called because they started throwing rocks at the vehicles in the residence’s car park. There was a rising crescendo of screams and vulgarities,” one local said. She claimed the police responded by saying that throwing rocks was not a priority for them, France Bleu reported on Tuesday.

The officer allegedly said: “You know when you live there, you have to find out before you buy.”

“You need to have people in your residence who have the balls to go to the basement, to sort this out your own way, with the Corsican method,” the officer added, referencing vigilante justice.


Another person reported a similar encounter with police at a local police station who also recommended they move somewhere else.

“You don’t have to live there. Anyway, people are not normal in this neighbourhood. You only have to move somewhere else, and live with normal people,” the man claimed the police officer had said.

In recent months, even during the strict Chinese coronavirus lockdowns, no-go neighbourhoods across France have erupted into rioting and violence, primarily directed at police.

In La Cité Charles-Schmidt apartment complex in Saint-Ouen, located in the notorious no-go Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis, residents even made a deal with local drug dealers to leave them alone in exchange for the criminals keeping their noise down at certain hours.

As growing violence and crime escalates across neighbourhoods in France, some, including populist Marine Le Pen and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, have begun to use the term “ensauvagement” — describing a descent into savagery and lawlessness — to characterise the growing trend.

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


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