It was supposed to be a temporary solution. But it has been a year since Parisian crack consumers, moved on September 24, 2021 by order of the Minister of the Interior to the Porte de la Villette, took drugs in the middle of the street in an area wedged between Paris, Pantin and Aubervilliers. And since then, the authorities seem powerless to solve the problem.
Paris city hall refused the project of the ex-prefect of police Didier Lallement to move the camp again, in the 12e borough. As for the solution, approved by the government, of “addiction care stops”, where “crackers” could consume but also start taking charge, it was met with refusal from residents in two arrondissements. Will things finally move forward? This summer, Laurent Nunez, the new prefect of police, was given the objective of eradicating crack in one year. In recent weeks, the police presence has thus greatly increased. “Since August 4, 385 arrests have been carried out, resulting in 250 police custody having led in particular to 11 detentions for trafficking”, detailed on September 13 the police headquarters. For what results? “As soon as the police leave, dealers and consumers come back and it starts again, because the networks are never completely dismantled”, believes Bertrand Kern, PS mayor of Pantin. In fact, police work on crack is particularly complicated. Produced in Suriname or Colombia, the cocaine, from which this drug is derived, arrives by plane from Guyana, transported by “mules”. difficult to identify, “they don’t know either their sponsor or their receiver”notes a police source.
Second difficulty: unlike other drugs, making crack, from pure cocaine mixed with baking soda or ammonia, is very easy. It is therefore done just in time in “kitchens”, where the production leaves few traces in the event of police intervention. Produced in the form of “cakes”, crack is cut into “pebbles” of approximately 0.05 g, which can be sold for €5 each. Very inexpensive, the product is so addictive that the “crackers” want another dose right away, hence this phenomenon of street consumption and associated practices (begging, theft, prostitution, etc.) to obtain money on the spot. “Consumers protect resellers, which makes interventions complicated”, add the police. In the event of an arrest, it remains to obtain a significant conviction. “But there is no specific offense for crackwe resume on the police side. People are arrested with very small quantities, so it is necessary to explain to the magistrates that, even less than 1 kg, it can be a big trafficker. »
Finally, what to do with “crackers” when they get out of prison? Most of them without a residence permit, “we place them in a detention center, and then begin a whole investigative work to find out which country they come from”, explains another police source. If the traffic is reputed to be held by Senegalese, “many say they are from another country, like Gabon”, where it is difficult to prove their marital status. For this reason, or because of the country’s desire not to take back its national, France obtains few “consular passes”, allowing expulsions. “Between January and the beginning of September, we had 56 foreigners in an irregular situation involved in the sale of crack submitted for deportation and we had 7 deportations”. Suffice to say that the repressive component will not be able to do everything, recognizes the prefect Nunez himself. “The action cannot only be repressive and police, it must also be social and healthhe told the Parisian. This involves supporting consumers to get them into a crack exit process. We worked on it. » But this famous plan, initially planned for September, is long overdue.