France “Romanian” crime is up

July 22, 2011

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Newspaper Le Figaro
Country France
Type Daily
External link

Comment: The French article in ‘Le Figaro’ cites police reports saying that crimes committed by Romanian citizens in France have increased by 72.4% in the Greater Paris area, compared to 2010. It mentions in particular that the majority of the 5680 people charged for theft and other petty crimes have been minors. The article cites the report saying that beyond the theft of mobile phones and pick-pocketing, the phenomena of charity scams, collective begging and street gambling have also appeared. The report also mentions that a family brought people – including children – from Romania for 100 euros, sending them to all parts of Paris, forcing them to beg. The article finally quotes police officers who witnessed that these criminals started to use force against police to protect themselves.

While the figures of Romanian delinquency in Paris may well have been rising for several years, the percentage provided mislead the reader: police only started to single out Romanian in their statistics in 2007, which has ever since indeed proved to be “booming”.

On the other hand, though figures allow readers to take stock of the scope of this phenomenon, its nature remains unclear in this article. The situation of a child brought to the streets of Paris for a 100 euros in order to beg or commit crime should be regarded as a trafficking situation which requires investigation and punishment of perpetrators, while the child should be presented as a victim rather than a juvenile in conflict with the law. A closer look to this aspect as well as to the child protection issues that arise not only in Paris but also in the region of origin of the child should be further explored. Readers have a right to get the full picture of a phenomenon rather than mere figures which provide an oversimplified depiction of a complex reality.

Comment: Tdh Regional Office for C/SEE

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