In the morning, the Minister made a brief surprise stroll through the sensitive district of La Guillotière, which has been polarizing media attention for several months and giving the authorities headaches, due to an upsurge in petty trafficking (cigarettes, drugs), aggression and incivility.

Video clips of this morning walk were posted on Mr. Darmanin’s Twitter account. “Don’t worry”, “we are not giving up”, he launched to a few traders and residents on his way through this cosmopolitan district close to the hyper-center of Lyon, where the police presence has been greatly increased. these last months.

“Thefts with violence have fallen by 54% at the Guillotière (…) With the will, we will get there”, assured in this tweet the minister, who must speak to the press in the post- midday.

At midday, Mr. Darmanin arrived at the town hall to meet Grégory Doucet, who had boycotted a visit by the minister at the end of July, organized a few days after the attack on three police officers by a crowd at La Guillotière during the arrest of a suspect.

The mayor then wanted to show his impatience about the national police reinforcements. “It’s not a minister we need but more staff,” tweeted Grégory Doucet on the sidelines of this visit, recalling the promise made two years ago by Mr. Darmanin to send 300 national police officers.

The minister then replied that he had already sent “more than 100 police officers” to Lyon in 2021, then this year a new “residential” CRS (i.e. 80 men) and 40 other police officers.

These numbers are to be further reinforced in 2023 by 200 police officers from the Border Police (PAF), assigned to a new administrative detention centre. In announcing the opening of this center, Mr. Darmanin had affirmed that “35% of the acts of delinquency in the Lyon metropolitan area are committed by foreigners”.

According to the prefect of the Rhône Pascal Mailhos, the arrival of a second CRS company has already made it possible to increase operations at La Guillotière, with some 4,000 checks and 400 arrests since February.

– “Two legs” –

The environmentalist mayor is calling for staff, but the minister is “expecting gestures, particularly in terms of facilities and video protection”, recalled the prefect at the end of August.

Beauvau’s criticisms focus on the town hall’s strategy in terms of security, but above all on its reluctance to deploy new cameras or on the deportation of images demanded by the national police.

In July, Gérald Darmanin even noted “the naivety and militancy of the mayor”, echoing the reproaches of the municipal opposition and the president LR of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region Laurent Wauquiez, who castigate a municipal discourse very oriented towards the prevention.

The mayor, he denied any form of angelism, ensuring that he wanted to walk on “two legs: prevention and repression”.

Mohamed Chihi, Deputy Mayor for Security, on the other hand, makes amends for the shortcomings in municipal officers pointed out by the ministry. “We are encountering difficulties in recruitment”, he admits, recalling that the town hall had made a big budgetary effort to increase its workforce to 365 agents, against 288 today, and “improve the feeling of security” of the Lyonnais.

The ministerial visit coincides with the upcoming examination of the orientation and programming bill of the Ministry of the Interior (Lopmi) which provides for the creation of 8,500 additional police and gendarme posts in five years.