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France

Police reinforcements to be sent to Marseille as situation worsens

media Scene following the most recent shooting on 5 September, 2013 Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

 Police reinforcements will be sent to Marseille, said police, following a meeting held by elected officials and state leaders to discuss the worrisome situation in the southern city.

Two days ago, Adrien Anigo, the son of the president of the football club Olympique Marseille, was murdered in the city’s 15th gang-related killing so far this year.
His death sparked nation-wide attention to the growing problem of crime in Marseille.

Earlier today, a two-hour meeting was held at the Police administrative centre in Marseille, to discuss what needs to be done to beef-up security in the city.

Michel Cadot, the head of the region said it was a “very long and very constructive meeting”. Everyone in attendance said they would remain open to taking the necessary measures in the areas of education and promised to quickly finalise “a security and social cohesion pact in the next three months, complete with a permanent liaison committee”.

Cadot added that Manuel Valls, the Interior Minister had “confirmed to me that from now until the end of the year [security] reinforcements will be given”.

“We are meeting to work together towards the same goal of fighting back against organised crime and drug trafficking, and I just saw someone attending this meeting who is already being questioned for ‘association to questionable people’ which doesn’t help us set a good example” said Jean-Noël Guérini, one of the participants at the meeting.

It’s not the first time, however, that out of necessity a “global approach” was organised to help Marseille. In fact, that was exactly what the government stated last year when it unveiled a plan aimed at stemming violence once and for all. About 230 extra police were deployed in the city, while certain sectors in the north and south of the city were declared “priority security zones”.

A group people mainly from the popular neighbourhoods, whereby many are mothers who have lost their children in the settling of accounts among feuding gangs, are members of the '1 June Collective'. “Drug trafficking is not going to be eradicated by sending in more police” said the collective. “We hope to see an insistence on dialogue between the powerful public figures and civil society”.

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