Women increasingly harassed in multicultural Paris district labelled “hell”

Monday, November 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

5 November 2018

Last year a petition, signed by a group of local women, attempted to call attention to the situation in the Chapelle-Pajol district in northern Paris, the women now claim it has become even worse than before, Le Parisien reports.

“The situation has worsened. Of course, since these men are more and more numerous. Like many others, I gave up taking the metro to La Chapelle, to cross the square … Even at a running pace,” a local woman wishing not to be identified said.

“And do not talk about cafes. They do not say ‘Women Prohibited’ on the front, of course, but who would risk it? The police are more present, it’s true, but the fights are also more and more numerous and violent. I have the impression that these traffickers won the game: they took possession of the place,” she added.

The constant harassment from men in their complaint last year has become worse and many refusing to even leave their homes.

The district has been labelled “Hell” due to the rampant criminality, with Loïc Guezo, president of the association Demain la Chapelle in his description over the past several years: “In just a few years, what was an island of tranquillity has become an area of lawlessness, where the criminal activity grows and hardens,” he said.

“Trafficking and illegal trade began to set in 2014 and 2015 near the first camp of migrants in Paris, installed at that time Boulevard de la Chapelle,” Guezo added.

There is increased police presence in the area, though there has been little sign of crime slowing down. Officers have stopped and searched 2618 individuals in just eight months and arrested 226.

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