They are "simple citizens", residents "overwhelmed by the petty crime which [their] life rots".
They call on the public authorities, the social landlord, the City, the police, the justice system, "before taking action", like a militia.
For several weeks, around fifteen Parisians, mostly four and fifty, fathers of families, living in the square du Tarn, a quiet low-cost housing estate dependent on the lessor Paris Habitat located at Porte de Champerret (17th century), have formed a collective.
“We're all from the neighborhood.
We all know each other.
As soon as we see a danger, we warn each other on our WhatsApp group
We get organized and we disembark.
This Wednesday morning, one of them met Atanase Périfan, elected representative of the district, worried about this rise in power and who took up the case.
The collective has also launched a poster campaign in the halls, with a warning message: “Attention!
Thefts and burglaries ”.
Some tenants have shielded their doors, others have stuck cameras to immortalize thieves in the stairwell.
The worrying increase in delinquency in Paris since the deconfinement
“For the moment, we are in vigilance mode, insists Marc
(the first name has been changed)
We respect the law.
But we're not going to let ourselves be eaten up by a small group of neighborhood delinquents.
We're going to hit them!
"And to warn:" If nothing happens, we will apply our own justice.
For the moment, we are doing investigations.
The group is growing.
Already last Friday, "Neighbors Alert" helped the police officers of the BAC (anti-crime brigade) of the 17th century police station to arrest the small gang which is raging in the area in flagrante delicto, during an "attempted burglary".
"They warned us," reframes a police officer.
“With a friend, we blocked the doors,” recalls one of the members.
They couldn't go out!
"The three young people, aged 15 and 17, who had been filmed several times and identified, were taken on board handcuffed by the police, under the invectives of the residents:" Never come back here!
Tenants installed cameras and managed to film the burglars (here December 9).
In the thugs' backpack, officials found the perfect burglar's kit, between pliers and screwdrivers.
But also the correspondence books of these… college students.
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“They were not brought before the prosecution.
They were released after 24 hours in police custody, regrets a source close to the case.
The magistrate considered that the facts were not characterized when they had just broken the lock on the door of an apartment and that there was no one else in the stairwell.
“The police are on the ground.
She's doing her job.
On the other hand, tackle the residents, justice does not follow.
It is precisely disconnected from the field.
And the minors have a total feeling of impunity.
Theft of strollers ignites the powder
This Monday, another apartment in the square was broken into.
Enough to reinforce the anger of the members of this "militia", whose history began long before Christmas, last November, with the theft of strollers.
“Not just any, Marc insists… Yoyo brand models, at 400 euros each.
I found that of my son the next day on the Leboncoin online sales site.
I was intrigued by the photo in the ad.
The stroller sat enthroned on a Hungarian point parquet in the middle of a beautiful old living room.
Marc, with his friend, then trapped the "seller".
They arranged to meet him before setting up a "small spinning" to identify his home address.
“It was only two streets away…” The seller, “a good-looking, good-natured teenager who lives in a beautiful Haussmannian building”, then returned the stroller “without flinching”.
But the next day, that of Marc's neighbor had disappeared from the landing in turn.
According to a source close to the file, this young receiver, in cahoots with the burglars of the Square du Tarn, was at the head of a business of Yoyo strollers.
A repetition of the facts when “the Square du Tarn is not Chicago.
Far from there.
This petty crime at Porte de Champerret is rather unusual, ”assures a police officer.
What Marc recognizes: “Precisely, we do not want to let this set in, experience what residents of eastern Paris are experiencing.
“Hence the creation of their collective.
A "militia" which could raise fears of a possible slippage.
"We are not in the United States, we are not armed, retorts Marc.
We need to pool our forces with the town hall, the police, the landlord and the courts.
There is a real synergy to be found.
"The town hall will help them to set up their collective"
Atanase Périfan / DR
Atanase Périfan, elected (LR) of the 17th century, creator of the Voisins solidaires association and president of the European Federation of local solidarities, met the collective.
While he salutes the spirit of mutual aid between residents, he also calls for keeping the situation under control.
How did we come to this situation?
With the health crisis, we are now dealing with local delinquency.
Before, these minors were more prevalent in tourist areas such as the Champs-Elysées.
But they are also our neighbors!
They live 500 meters away.
And with the curfew, they do not hesitate to operate in broad daylight, in plain sight.
Have the landlord, the City, the police and the judiciary failed?
The police are doing their job.
When you call the 17th century police station, they come immediately even if there are staffing problems at home.
Justice applies the law.
And as far as minors under 16 are concerned, it cannot be very effective ... As for the lessor, he has been reactive and is working on the subject.
What should also be pointed out in this file is the failure of the families of these offenders.
Institutions and the State cannot compensate for educational deficiencies.
How can we transform this collective of local residents into a positive movement?
When I met some members of the collective and one of theirs said to me, “The next burglar I catch, I hit him against the wall,” I got scared.
I felt anger and exasperation.
This should not turn into a settling of scores or a news item.
At the 17th century town hall, with the lessor, we will help them set up their collective.
We must indeed transform this movement into something positive.
Moreover, Marc and the members of this collective create links in the neighborhood.
People talk to each other.
In this gloomy period of confinement, it is precious.
I asked Paris Habitat for a room for a House of Neighbors, which would be a place of life for them, where people from the neighborhood, of all generations, could meet, talk to each other, unite.
It is our role as elected officials to repair the link and to propose projects.