Paris suburbs shut late-night shops to fight rowdiness

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Two local authorities have enforced earlier closing times in neighbourhoods plagued by petty crime and binge drinking in public.

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Local councils in two suburbs of Paris have banned shops from opening at night in an attempt to curb drug trafficking and anti-social behaviour.

Saint-Denis, home to the Stade de France just north of the capital, and Villeneuve-Saint Georges, to the south-east of Paris city, targeted areas known for late-night drinking in public and other types of disturbances with closing orders in June and July, reports FRANCE 24.

All shops except licensed bars, restaurants and bakeries must close at 8pm on four streets of Saint-Denis while part of the main shopping street in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges is closed to business after 10pm.

Both local councils are planning to evaluate the measures in the coming months before they decide whether to renew them.

“The aim is to give the neighbourhood back to its inhabitants and to passers-by, and to restore social life while combating noise pollution and groups of binge drinkers,” Saint-Denis town council said on its website on Friday.

The statement added that the measure targeted a number of bars previously found to violate their licenses as well as “grocery shops and hair salons that used to turn into completely illegal drinking establishments after 8pm”.

A town official told AFP that the neighbourhood became difficult after a crackdown on cocaine dealers drove them out of Paris city centre in 2008.

The council also called on the government to deploy more police to Saint-Denis.

Read more of this report from FRANCE 24.

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