“Traffic continues” … In Rennes, the endless fight against trafficking

The statistics for 2021 don’t mean much. After a year 2020 marked by a drop in crime, in particular by the lockdowns and curfews imposed by the health crisis, the year 2021 seems to be the year of “return to normality” for police officers and gendarmes. In Rennes, as in most of the French metropolises, the accent has been placed on the fight against drug trafficking, promoted by the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin. With what results? Difficult to establish as the year 2020 had been abnormal. But trends are emerging.

Without firing big shots, the Ille-et-Vilaine police saw their seizures rise dramatically compared to “the Covid year”: + 80% for cannabis and + 100% for cocaine from January to November. These figures released this Friday by local authorities confirm the efforts made, in particular by the police, to dismantle drug trafficking. “Has the traffic increased? I do not know. But our activity has increased sharply,” says police commissioner Luca Togni, departmental director of public security (DDSP). His services, which have received human reinforcements, have identified “44 points of sale “in the five municipalities of its territory that include Rennes, Chantepie, Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, Cesson-Sévigné and Saint-Grégoire. In these places our presence is daily”, assures the commissioner, before acknowledging. “Despite our efforts, the traffic continues.”

In Saint-Jacques, 46 traders identified

The Public Ministry abounds next to him. “We know that the quality of life of the people who live near the points of sale is very degraded. We have redoubled our efforts in certain places, particularly in the occupation of ships and the feeling seems to be improving ”, assures Philippe Astruc. The magistrate cites the example of the Morinais district, in Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, where Wilhem Houssin was assassinated in July, beaten by young merchants. “The first idea that must be discarded is that it is the same three or four people who are there all the time. At this point in the deal, we identified 46 people suspected of trafficking ”, explains the prosecutor.

In Saint-Jacques, the increased police presence did not stop traffic, far from it. But the transactions take place “further from the school.” “The aggressiveness seems to have diminished”, assures the magistrate. Sitting next to him, the prefect Emmanuel Berthier is in charge of recalling that “the department of Ille-et-Vilaine is a safe department”, promising that “crime remains.” The prefect evokes a crime rate of “52 per 1,000 inhabitants in Rennes”, against 78 per 1,000 in Nantes, or 86 per 1,000 in Rouen. Positive point: property damage has decreased. Negative point: attacks on natural persons are more and more numerous.

In 2021, the police are not alone in noticing an increase in drug-related interventions. Since the beginning of the year, the Ille-et-Vilaine gendarmerie has issued 550 flat-rate fines. But above all, he has lined up 1,300 people guilty of driving under the influence of drugs. “It is a record. This is not so surprising because when you search, you find,” explains Colonel Sébastien Jaudon. The head of the department’s gendarmes specifies that these 1,300 crimes have become “a little more numerous than the conduct under the rule of an alcoholic state. “

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