“Communication blow”, “punch solution”: the curfew targeting minors in Béziers divides

“Communication blow”, “punch solution”: the curfew targeting minors in Béziers divides

A Béziers désormais, les mineurs de moins de 13 ans ne peuvent plus être seuls la nuit. MAXPPP

In Guadeloupe, the government is introducing a curfew for minors to combat violence, while in Béziers, Robert Ménard has been doing the same since Monday March 22. How effective is ? Association, elected officials and police officers in reacting.

Because young people are said to be "increasingly violent", the mayor of Béziers has returned to the &rsquo ;established, Monday April 22 and ten years later, its decree establishing a curfew for minors, which had however been rebutted by the Council of State (read below).

Robert Ménard, by wanting to prohibit the wandering of minors under the age of 13, after 11 p.m., in certain districts of his city, until September, is always quick to respond to government sequences. He thus follows in the footsteps of Gérald Darmanin who announced on April 17 the establishment of a curfew in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) for two months, starting this Monday, April 22, in order to fight against "delinquency which is increasingly young, and more and more armed" justified the Minister of ;Interior during a press conference.

But will these decrees have any effectiveness in combating recent tragedies which have involved minors such as the Samara affair in Montpellier or Shemseddine in Viry-Châtillon ?

"There is no single solution"

"There is no single solution, the curfew is a one-shot solution that can be adapted to certain situations or to specific neighborhoods" estimates Frédéric Roig, president of the association of mayors of Hérault (AMF34).

"What is certain is that we are facing a deterioration of the social climate, kids who are getting beaten up or who end up at the end of a rope, that’ ;rsquo;is unthinkable but it happens.

However, the representative of the elected officials recalls that ’il "not only the sanction » and the necessity « of prevention and awareness" in the City's policies, also evoking the abolition of the old community police and"the’explosion" in the number of single-parent families.

Jean-Michel Weiss, secretary general of the autonomous municipal police federation Gard Hérault, sees positive aspects. In particular by citing the example of Cagnes-sur-Mer (Alpes-Maritimes) where the seasonal and summer decree, concerning those under 13 who must not go out alone after 11 p.m., has proven itself.

"The decree made it possible to eradicate the phenomenon"

"The curfew order is 20 years old in Cagnes-sur-Mer, it is applied, it is known and it has allowed & rsquo;eradicate the phenomenon of wandering minors" indicates the one who is also national secretary FAFPT municipal police."But our objective is to ensure the safety of these minors and protect them.

The urban violence which broke out in July 2023 after the death of Naël pushed municipalities to issue decrees such as in Hem and Roubaix (North) or Joinville-le-Pont (Val-de-Marne) . Often punctual but with, very rarely if ever, verbalizations from the responsible parents. Including in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Because their application not only requires the presence of police – municipal or national – or gendarmes but also to write a report "which takes time and complicates the application" relevant Jean -Michel Weiss. So, simple announcement effect ?

"There is no special situation in Béziers concerning minors"

For the Human Rights League which intends to fight each decree in general and in Béziers in particular, Robert Ménard's curfew is only "of communication. There is no special situation in Béziers concerning minors" denounces Sophie Mazas, president of the Hérault federation.

The mayor believes the opposite, citing, to justify his order, urban violence involving adolescents or "the’increase in juvenile delinquency& quot; by evoking "the figures from the Chancellery".

However, on the one hand, minors who commit crimes are in fact punishable by the Penal Code, on the other hand, the figures from the Ministry of the Interior give , a stable trend in convictions and incarcerations since 2017 for those who are not yet adults.

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