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France's police anti-crime squads were set up to help combat street crime. But have they themselves become part of the problem? Driven by a target-setting culture, coming into contact with large-scale drug trafficking, co-opting their own members and subject to only limited management oversight, they seem almost programmed to crash out of control. Even before the emergence of a recent anti-crime squad corruption scandal in Marseille involving drugs, the positive impact of these police units in France's run-down estates was far from clear. Louise Fessard reports.
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