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August 1, 2021

Government unveils plan to fight gang-related violence

He was 16 years old. Sunday June 13, around 10 p.m., the body of a teenager was found in Sotteville-lès-Rouen (Seine-Maritime), dead during a brawl between two rival gangs of Rouen and Petit-Quevilly involving about fifty people .

In a statement released the next day, the mayors of the three cities call for calm as much as they storm: “Our municipalities are doing all they can (…). We are strengthening the staff of our municipal police forces, extending video protection devices when necessary and useful, and developing preventive and educational actions. The State must also respond present on this subject which is its primary responsibility. “ Target of their anger, in particular, the thirty-six additional police officers promised in 2019 by the then Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner. “We are still waiting for them”, squeak the elected officials.

Read also How the government wants to respond to the increase in clashes between youth gangs

In March, the government had however sounded the general mobilization after several violent clashes, having notably claimed the lives of two teenagers in Essonne. Initially planned for the beginning of May, the new interministerial plan for the prevention and fight against violence linked to gangs and informal groups must finally be presented on Wednesday June 16 in the Council of Ministers. The document that The world was able to consult is a ” toolbox “ aiming to ” prevent “, at “Strengthen monitoring and police action” and to “Improve judicial and penal responses” face “Gangs and groups engaged in acts of violence”.

The result of a broad consultation led by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex – and associating eleven ministerial departments, from the interior to national education through ecological transition -, this plan first draws up a more nuanced observation than the often vague political formulas launched at the beginning of the year. He describes gangs with shifting contours, not structured American-style gangs, but nebulas bringing together individuals with various motivations, sometimes very young, male in almost all cases, capable of deploying without warning and for motives. harmless extreme violence. Within these groups, attachment to a neighborhood, a place, sometimes a simple name, is coupled with the use of social networks which amplifies the brutality and suddenness of conflicts.

Abundance of acronyms

Having considered the situation, what strategies does this new government plan intend to put in place to fight against a phenomenon that is difficult to quantify? The Interior Ministry describes a constant progression with 357 facts recorded in 2020 against 288 the previous year, an increase of 25% in one year. “The Prime Minister did not want a political plan with announcement effects, we point out to Matignon. The mechanisms exist from one ministry to another, they must be mobilized and articulated, fostering exchanges between actors. “

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