French town imposes under-16 curfew to curb ‘delinquency’

The French city of Joinville has imposed a curfew for all unaccompanied minors under the age of 16 to reduce the level of crime and urban violence on the streets of the city.

Bertrand Ollivier, the mayor of Joinville, announced that the curfew will be in effect until August 15 and will see all minors required to stay off the streets of the city between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day unless they are accompanied by an adult.

Deputy Mayor Sandrine Jean dit Pannel explained the reason for the measure to France Info: “It is to avoid repeated damage: tags, broken windows, small fires… People are starting to be a little afraid in some streets, and we want to prevent it from getting worse in the coming weeks, during the holidays.

“We made this decision for everyone’s safety. The gendarmes will be more present on the ground, ”added the deputy mayor, explaining that young offenders of the curfew will first be exposed to a warning and then to possible fines.

Urban violence has become a major problem in much of France and attacks on police officers and even police stations have become relatively common by young people using makeshift weapons such as fireworks and rocks.

Earlier this month, in Champigny-sur-Marne, a crowd of around 80 attacked a police station following an arrest at a local football match, which allegedly sparked violence. Officers had to respond to the attack by dispersing the crowd with tear gas canisters.

Such scenes of urban violence have become so common in France that last year around 35,000 police and their supporters took to the streets of Paris to demonstrate against violence against law enforcement and urged the government to do more to fight clutter.

Some even fear that rising levels of violence could drive France towards civil conflict – a view expressed by French General Pierre de Villiers, former chief of staff of the French armed forces, in 2020.

“Let us not delude ourselves about confinement, which is like a lid on the pot: the current climate is at best gloomy, at worst explosive, in any case very unstable. Everywhere, poverty and anger are increasing,” said de Villiers.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)


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