A leaked internal police memo in the northern department of Calvados told officers to limit their interventions to only serious crimes in Muslim areas during Ramadan.
The note, which was sent out on April 24th and came from the chief of staff of the Central Directorate of Public Security (DDSP) of Calvados, calls for officers to not intervene in certain districts.
“Unless there is a risk of harm to persons or serious damage to property (damage by means dangerous for people, buildings, or vehicles), there is no need to intervene in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of populations following Ramadan, to raise a fuss, or to impose controls on groups of people gathered after sunset to eat,” the note states.
Despite Lockdown: France Rocked by Four Straight Nights of Riots https://t.co/zPrvOmi9fQ
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The DDSP note goes on to say that officers should exercise caution “in order to prevent a breach of the confinement rules from degenerating and causing a greater disturbance of urban violence”, Le Parisien reports.
Fabien Vanhemelryck, the secretary of the Alliance Police Union, criticised the leaked memo, telling the newspaper: “Contrary to what has been said and repeated by the government, this note proves that the police are therefore well-instructed not to go to certain places!”
The leak comes after multiple “vulnerable” neighbourhoods across France erupted into riots for several days and saw attacks on police and firefighters as well as several arson attacks despite the Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns.
In the department of Yvelines, police claim to have been attacked nearly daily for at least two weeks by local youths in troubled neighbourhoods. Several of the incidents required officers to deploy stun grenades to escape the mobs.
The lockdown has heavily affected illegal drug trafficking in areas across France, which has led to concerns that violence may be looming on the horizon as a result.
“If the supply does not start again, and if the confinement lasts longer, it could become hot in certain cities,” a police investigator said earlier this month.