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.”
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.