Wednesday, April 23, 2008

350 French Police Seal Off Seine-Saint-Denis In Raid

Another excursion into enemy territory for the French forces of law and order this week, as 350 French police descended on the sensitive zone of Saine-Saint-Denis to smash a ring of drug dealers.

This follows similar raids last month, in comparable company-strength.
The story was carried by several French media sources, with little variation in the details provided. I've translated this account from Yahoo France:
A vast police operation was conducted Wednesday night in the neighborhood of Beaudottes a Sevran (Seine-Saint-Denis) against drug traffickers, leading to the arrest of four people.
Three hundred and fifty police officers were deployed to seal off this neighborhood considered, according to a report from General Intelligence, as a hub for drug trafficking, especially cannabis.

Fran├žois Molins, the district attorney for the Republique de Bobigny, specified on France Info that house searches had taken place "in 12 apartments that were squatted in for the last several weeks, if not months, and were targeted as possible stockpiling areas for drugs."

"The result, is four persons arrested for infractions related to drugs", he said. The scale of the operation justified itself notably "from the need to exploit information that was in our possession from various court proceedings", he underlined, observing that no "regrettable" incidents took place during the arrests.
The size of the police forces enlisted for the raid no longer seems to raise gallic eyebrows, considering the wartime conditions under which the police operate. There have been sufficient precedents, such as the incidents in Courcouronne and Grande-Borne, to warrant taking extra precautions when organizing their raid; for all the police knew, they would have needed every single one of those troops, in order for all of them to escape with their lives.
The attacks on police are no longer as newsworthy as they used to be; like vandalism and petty theft, the youths' war on police is relegated to ho-hum backpage filler. Like this short piece from Monday's Le Figaro newspaper:
Two police from the anti-criminality Brigade (BAC) were wounded from blows from iron bars and a third by a hail of stones, in the sensitive neighborhood of Toulouse, it was learned from police sources.
The police and fire-fighter unions regularly reveal an increase in the force of the violence which they meet during their interventions in several Toulousian suburbs.
A car struck a pedestrian crossing the street, a cat got stuck up a tree, police were attacked by thugs wielding iron bars... it's shocking to see such horror reduced to the mere banal. But then...

C'est La Guerre....

[Thanks to one of my favorite French blogs, the inspiring Le Salon Beige, for the Figaro story]


GW said...

Good post - frightening that police actions in France are coming more to resemble military raids. And, to be precise, 350 line troops would be akin to an infantry battalion's worth of soldiers. That says a lot. Linked.

Charles Henry said...

Thanks GW

I don't know for certain (maybe some of our French visitors can clarify this point for me... but I don't think French police officers are allowed to carry guns.

The French police just have tear gas and other non-lethal ammunition....

That's one of the reasons they need so many boots on the ground to arrest someone when venturing into these neighborhoods specifically to arrest bad guys.

Are the police armed in Great Britain, as they are here in Canada (and the US)? All our police carry guns, and undergo weapons training. I don't think that's the case anymore in France.