Sat. May 25th, 2024

In response to a surge in youth violence in Pointe-a-Pitre, the economic capital of Guadeloupe, France has declared a two-month nighttime curfew for minors, effective next week. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin unveiled the measure as part of a broader strategy to address escalating crime rates on the Caribbean island, a French overseas territory located over 7,000 kilometers away from mainland France.

Pointe-a-Pitre, grappling with alarming crime statistics, has witnessed a marked increase in youth involvement in criminal activities. According to local authorities, the city registers six times more homicides and twenty times more armed robberies than the national average. Pointe-a-Pitre mayor Harry Durimel characterized the situation as “cutthroat,” emphasizing the growing prevalence of minors in criminal incidents, which has surged from 12 percent to 38 percent.

The curfew, applicable to individuals under the age of 18, aims to curb nighttime criminal activities perpetrated by juveniles. Minister Darmanin underscored the urgency of the situation, highlighting instances where adolescents as young as 12 years old were found roaming the streets late at night, engaging in acts of violence against law enforcement officials, tourists, and civilians.

In addition to the curfew, the government plans to bolster security measures, including heightened video surveillance, to combat drug trafficking and the proliferation of street weapons—a challenge described by Darmanin as the primary issue plaguing Guadeloupe. Mayor Durimel expressed optimism that the curfew would contribute to enhancing public safety, citing the potential deterrence effect of keeping minors indoors during nighttime hours.

Acknowledging the broader societal implications, Durimel emphasized the importance of parental responsibility in preventing juvenile delinquency, citing recent incidents such as the destruction of numerous garbage cans in Pointe-a-Pitre as indicative of unchecked youth behavior. The implementation of the curfew represents a proactive step in addressing the complex social and security challenges facing Pointe-a-Pitre and underscores the government’s commitment to restoring law and order in the region.

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