Repeated theft, damage to shop windows, but also a feeling of insecurity among staff: shopkeepers in the station area are familiar with the hazards of the area, but have observed an intensification of the phenomenon in recent months.
"With the lockdown, the district emptied for a while and the dealers moved in," observes Malvina Gelezuinas, a shopkeeper in the district and vice-president of the UCVL. The Union has also set up meetings with the City and the Ministry of the Interior to highlight the problem, while passing on the initiatives of the local authorities to its members.
Private security guards in some shops
"It's a pity that the city has to pay a security company, but it's a good thing we have this security company, because I can't imagine what would have happened if we hadn't had it," said the shopkeeper.
The incident that occurred on Saturday night, which was captured in a video that has gone viral, is in everyone's memory, but the phenomenon of insecurity is not new: it has become more pronounced, particularly since the closure of the footbridge to Bonnevoie, which redirects certain pedestrian flows.
A foot patrol would be much safer.
"We would like to see cameras and police patrols on foot," says Malvina Gelezuinas. In the neighbourhood, some owners and shopkeepers have even hired private security guards. "We see the police, but they are often in cars, while passers-by walk and use public transport in the neighbourhood. A foot patrol would be much safer," she says.
After the tram construction site which affected shop footfall, then the lockdown, now there is a growing sense of unease, a situation that shopkeepers could have done without, especially as the district is now enjoying a new lease of life.
On the one hand, Avenue de la Liberté has had a makeover, as has Place de Paris. On the other, a few new shops are preparing to open in the coming weeks, such as McDonald's, Calzedonia and Tezenis. "It's a beautiful, lively and popular neighbourhood, it's a shame it's come to this," concludes our interviewer.
This article was originally published on Paperjam. It has been translated for Delano.