Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

France

France vows crackdown on 'troublemakers' after Amiens riots

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-15

Calm returned to the streets of Amiens Wednesday after two nights of fierce rioting in the north of the city. Police reinforcements will remain in the neighbourhoods that erupted into violence to ensure peace is maintained.

AFP - The French city of Amiens on Wednesday began a costly clean-up after two nights of rioting that left France again asking itself what to do about marginalised urban neighbourhoods that have regularly erupted into violence in the past decade.

The city's northern quarter was calm overnight, 24 hours after rampaging youths torched cars and public buildings, hurled explosives improvised from fireworks and fired buckshot at police.

France's Interior Ministry announced Wednesday that a heavy police presence would be maintained in the neighbourhood for several days to ensure there was no repeat.

Around 250 officers were deployed overnight following clashes in which 16 officers were injured, one of them seriously.

"The reinforcements will remain deployed over the next few days and nights to ensure a complete return to normal," Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.

Valls promised a crackdown on "troublemakers" would be balanced by attempts to foster a partnership between police and the local community in order to avoid further conflict.

Gilles Demailly, the mayor of the city some 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Paris, said the cost of repairing or rebuilding public buildings that were damaged or destroyed could run to six million euros (about $7.4 million).

The scale of the damage -- a sports centre and a primary school suffered extensive fire damage -- made the Amiens riot the most serious incident of its kind since the Villeneuve suburb of Grenoble exploded two years ago.

France's Socialist government has promised a tough response with Valls warning that no amount of social deprivation could excuse firing at police or burning public buildings.

"The rule of law, order and justice has to be re-established here in Amiens and the police will be given the means to ensure that they are," he vowed.

President Francois Hollande has promised to boost police numbers in some of France's most deprived urban areas and said that the fight against crime will be spared the cutbacks most government departments face.

Unemployment in the riot-hit part of Amiens runs at 45 percent. Among under-25s, who account for half the population, two out of three are out of work.

With France's economy stagnating and the jobless total already at a record high, some fear the Amiens violence could be a sign of things to come as Hollande's government embarks on an austerity programme.

But Didier Lapeyronnie, a sociologist at Paris's Sorbonne University, does not expect the unrest to spread.

"It is not the kind of protest that you get on the left bank in Paris," he told AFP.

"There is an element of social protest but it is not only that. This type of incident tends to happen in areas where there is real tension between a community and the police. It comes to a head from time to time, often because of a badly-judged intervention by the police."

The unrest in Amiens was triggered by what residents considered to be provocative spot-checks carried out at the time of a funeral for a 20-year-old who had died in a motorbike accident last week.

Tanazi, a 28-year-old rapper and self-styled spokesman for the neighbourhood, said local youths were fed up with being stopped by police "every day from when you're five years old."

"The CRS (riot police), they think they're in a zoo," he told AFP.

Local police reject the allegation of heavy-handed tactics but have admitted they are struggling to cope with troublemakers in a neighbourhood described as a "no go area" by the city's mayor.
 

Date created : 2012-08-15

  • FRANCE

    Amiens riots spark fears of economic unrest

    Read more

  • UNITED KINGDOM

    London riots break out over fatal police shooting

    Read more

COMMENT(S)