In Boussy-Saint-Antoine, a 14-year-old teenager was stabbed during a fight -

Thomas COEX / AFP

  • In 2020, of the 186 brawls recorded in Ile-de-France, nearly half took place in Essonne.

    According to the prefect of the department, there were 91 in 2020, against 56 in 2019.

  • A recurring lack of police officers is pointed out by the vice-president of the departmental council, in charge of security, while 100 new police and gendarmes are arriving as reinforcements for the coming weeks.

  • Several devices to try to bring out “weak signals” have been put in place.

The victims did not know each other and yet their stories have a multitude of points in common.

In less than 24 hours, two 14-year-old teenagers were stabbed to death in Essonne, a third, 13-year-old, was saved in extremis after being stabbed in the throat.

In these two cases, everything is, it seems, part of rivalries between rival gangs: the schoolgirl killed Monday in Saint-Chéron received a stab in the abdomen while trying to intervene in a fight.

The other victim was killed during a clash in Boussy-Saint-Antoine in which around thirty young people from Quincy-sous-Sénart and Epinay-sous-Sénart participated, equipped with sticks, crutches and bladed weapons.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, out of the 186 brawls identified in 2020 in Ile-de-France, 99 took place in Essonne.

The prefect of the department, Eric Jalon, puts forward the figure of 91 but specifies that they have almost doubled in one year: in 2019, there were 56. “We are observing a phenomenon which is increasing in intensity and seriousness. lately, insists the senior official.

This summer, we had already deplored two deaths, in Massy and Draveil.

"Difficult, on the other hand, to quantify the number of gangs because if belonging to a neighborhood serves as a" binder ", the groups are formed and deformed according to the often derisory disputes: a story of the heart, a bad word on social networks… "These gangs are the legacy of old territorial rivalries, of which everyone has forgotten the origin, but they are neither organized nor structured, which makes them all the more difficult to apprehend" , continues Eric Jalon.

The Saint-Chéron exception

Most of the clashes observed in the department are concentrated around large cities, Evry-Courcouronnes, Corbeil-Essonnes or Yerres, to which Boussy-Saint-Antoine is very close.

As such, the murder of Saint-Chéron is rather an exception.

“These two cases are dramatically similar but the context is a little different, notes Alexandre Touzet, vice-president Les Républicains of the departmental council, in charge of security.

Saint-Chéron is a small town of 5,000 inhabitants, relatively quiet.

Dourdan, where the six teenagers involved are from, is not known for these gang phenomena.

Now we have to determine if this is an isolated fact or if this type of rivalry is gaining new territory.


While Tuesday evening, the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, announced the reinforcement for a few weeks of 100 new police officers and gendarmes - in particular to avoid "a return match" -, Alexandre Touzet points to a recurring lack.

"We are the least well endowed with police officers in the whole region, behind the Val-d'Oise", insists the one who also calls for the creation of three new districts of republican reconquest, around Yerres, Palaiseau and Sainte-Geneviève -Woodland.

The prefect assures us that this track will be studied to try to understand the sharp increase in gangs, but notes that since 2017, the numbers have increased slightly: from 2,127 police to 2,181 today.

"And the services have been reorganized so that they can be deployed quickly where they are needed", insists the senior official.

Detect weak signals

Could containment have played a role?

“Anything that contributes to dropping out of school and becoming unemployed is a risk factor”, recognizes Eric Jalon.

This is one of the stakes of this problem: most of the participants in these brawls are between 13 and 16 years old and very often the geography of these rivalries is modeled on the school map, following the bus lines.

“Since this summer, we have been working to decompartmentalize information between the various players in order to detect and bring up“ weak signals ”as quickly as possible,” continues the prefect.

And to give the example of the partnership set up in the Draveil, Montgeron and Vigneux-sur-Seine sectors where an exchange loop has been set up between the national and municipal police, school officials and public transporters to facilitate exchanges.

Surveillance around certain middle and high schools has also been stepped up.

Tuesday, Gérald Darmanin made an appointment with all the prefects of the region "to try to work on an improvement of what we can do on young people or very young", in connection with the Ministry of National Education.

At the level of the department, Eric Jalon invited, Monday, the mayors of the municipalities concerned by this problem to try to expand the mechanisms already in place.

Because if they do not make it possible to avoid all the passages to the act, they have, according to the prefect, already proven their effectiveness.


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  • Violence

  • Rival bands

  • Brawl

  • Paris

  • Society