• The Maurepas district in Rennes has been the scene of scenes of extreme violence for several days.

  • This outbreak of violence raises the issue of security in a city that has long been spared violent score settling.

  • But according to the police unions, a milestone has been reached in recent years even if the authorities are rather reassuring.

A neighborhood caught in the spiral of violence.

In Maurepas, a popular district located north of Rennes, the tension is at its height.

For two weeks, its alleys have been the scene of scenes of extreme violence that have plunged its inhabitants into anguish and fear.

On June 13, a 28-year-old man died there after being stabbed in the heart.

A tragedy that occurred just hours after another stabbing in the neighborhood where an apartment was also riddled with bullets.

Friday, this time it was the police who were targeted in the middle of the afternoon.

While on bike patrol near a deal point where gunfire had just erupted, the three officers were targeted by a flurry of automatic weapon fire.

None of them was miraculously injured, the three agents having had the reflex to throw themselves to the ground to protect themselves.

Denouncing "facts of particular gravity", the public prosecutor of Rennes announced the opening of a judicial investigation for attempted murder of persons holding public authority.

Reinforcements have also been deployed in the district with the establishment of a specific cell of twelve investigators from the judicial police.

A rather safe city according to the authorities

In the Breton capital, already marked by a fatal shooting in March 2021 in Cleunay and by a succession of settling of accounts in the first half of 2020, this outbreak of violence has reignited the question of security in the city.

For many residents, the situation would indeed have deteriorated sharply.

Fantasy or reality?

If we rely on the figures published each year, however, to be handled with caution, crime has increased but has not exploded in recent years in the Breton capital.

The situation there is even "generally more favorable than in other comparable agglomerations", according to the prosecutor Philippe Astruc.

Directly from the department of public security, Luca Togni also shares this opinion of a rather safe city.

“There may be violent episodes every year with exchanges of gunfire but this is not the norm, he assures.

The police control the situation and go everywhere, there is no zone of lawlessness”.

“Prevent Rennes from tipping over”

On the side of the police unions, the discourse is of course more alarmist.

“We have never seen that in Rennes, the city is falling into extreme violence”, warns David Leveau, regional secretary of the SGP Police union.

According to him, a turf war has settled in the neighborhoods for drug trafficking and it will be hard to stop.

“We try to occupy the ground as well as possible to hinder the traffickers but we lack manpower, he underlines.

In addition, we are now dealing with very young offenders who no longer hesitate to shoot”.

A rise in the degree of violence confirmed by Frédéric Galllet of the Alliance police union.

“Many police officers were stationed before in the Paris region and they did not expect that when they landed in Rennes”, he underlines, ulcerated by the proposals of certain politicians.

“The more violent it is outside, the more they want to disarm us,” he denounces.

Whereas we should on the contrary adapt to this rise in violence”.

Philippe Astruc does not deny this reality either.

But for him, it is not specific to Rennes.

“There is now in society an uninhibited recourse to firearms and knives,” he underlines, displaying a speech of firmness against offenders.

"The worst answer is impunity," continues the prosecutor.

The more we elucidate and provide appropriate penal responses, the more we fight against this phenomenon.

It is in any case my strategy to prevent Rennes from tipping over.


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