French police begin clearing makeshift migrant camp in Paris

November, 2019

Around 600 French police took part in the evacuation which began in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Between 1,500 to 3,000 migrants, including 250 women and children, had been living in the camps that had sprung up alongside major roads, underneath motorway flyovers and bridges around the Porte de la Chapelle area of northern Paris.

The camps were also adjacent to a notorious Paris spot known as "crack hill", where drug dealers congregate and sell cheap crack cocaine to addicts and migrants.

As usual when migrant camps have been evacuated in Paris, hundreds were taken by buses to temporary accommodation in sports halls and asylum reception centres across the Paris region.

But charities have been critical of the clear outs in the past for not providing a permanent solution. Many of those evacuated end up living on the streets once again with new camps forming in a matter of months.

Paris police chief Didier Lallement said on Thursday: "I cannot allow such a dangerous situation to develop, not only for those who set up in the camp but also for motorists. This cannot go on."

The huge police operation meant roads had to be closed and caused major traffic disruption in the area around Porte de la Chapelle, notably the A1 motorway and the périphérique ring road.

Source: The Local