• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Plan to arm French village with tear gas

Joshua Melvin · 22 Jan 2014, 17:49

Published: 22 Jan 2014 17:49 GMT+01:00

The mayor of a usually tranquil French village is considering a plan to arm his residents with tear gas after a violent armed robbery at the home of a councillor, that left frightened locals reaching for their hunting rifles.

On Sunday night a town council member was shot in the neck at his home in the southwestern French village of Magnac-Lavalette-Villars by a masked intruder. After the robber managed to escape villagers have become somewhat edgy.

Residents of the village, which has fewer than 500 people, wanted to pull their hunting rifles or grandpa’s old blunderbuss out of the attic in order to protect themselves.

This prompted the village's mayor Didier Jobit, and the town council to consider controversially arming residents with spray cans of tear gas.

“The residents’ first reaction was to load their guns and leave them by the door. That’s a real problem for me,” Jobit told The Local. “I told them to put their guns back in the attic. It’s better, with some training, to use the tear gas, which will send the attacker running. Then they should lock themselves in a room and call the police.”

It’s not clear if it would be legal for the village to give tear gas to the residents or even help fund the purchase. Jobit said local law enforcement officials will make the call.

“We don’t want to replace the police,” he said. “We just want to make sure that people don’t get attacked any more in their homes.”

Jobit's call for residents to protect themselves comes as France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls is set to release the crime figures for 2013.

The eagerly awaited stats are set to show a steep rise in the number of burglaries across the country over the last 12 months.

Story continues below…

Officials released a report in December 2013 that revealed more and more foreigners were being arrested for crime in France.

 According to the data published by the National observatory of crime and criminal liability (ONDRP), the number of foreigners accused of robbery and theft in France has shot up by ten percent since 2008.

“The thefts committed in France seem to be changing because, according to the Observatory, an increasing number of their perpetrators are people who have entered the national territory for a temporary period during which they have allegedly committed crimes for the profit of criminal organizations,” the ONDRP said in the report.

For more news from France, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Seven saved after 22 hours trapped in French cave
Archive photo: AFP

Seven saved after 22 hours trapped in French cave
2 hours ago

A group of cavers was safely pulled from an underground chasm in south western France after their way out was blocked by rising flood waters.

Revealed: The huge cost of France's ex-presidents
Sarkozy, Giscard, and Chirac. France's three living former presidents bag €6.2 million a year between them. Photo: AFP

Revealed: The huge cost of France's ex-presidents
2 hours ago

The salaries of France's former presidents have been revealed - and they're enormous.

From blood scandal to climate deal: Laurent Fabius bows out
Photo: AFP

From blood scandal to climate deal: Laurent Fabius bows out
2 hours ago

He's a very, very rich man, has a very naughty son was no stranger to a scandal, and famously slapped down David Cameron's attempts to reform the EU. Laurent Fabius has left the building.

Fabius quits as Hollande pins hopes on final reshuffle
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and President François Hollande. Photo: AFP

Fabius quits as Hollande pins hopes on final reshuffle
4 hours ago

France's foreign minister quit on Wednesday as the French president hopes a final reshuffle will boost his government's popularity before next year's elections.

Outrage after the 'English massacre French crepes'
Photo: Imgur

Outrage after the 'English massacre French crepes'
4 hours ago

A photo of a pile of crepes cut like a cake has prompted "declarations of war" from France after going viral in France. And it's all (apparently) the fault of the English.

'Two children killed' in French school bus crash
Archive photo: AFP

'Two children killed' in French school bus crash
6 hours ago

A crash involving a school bus in eastern France has left two children dead, according to reports.

Paris 2024 Olympics bid
Paris unveils 2024 Olympics logo on the Arc de Triomphe
Photo: AFP

Paris unveils 2024 Olympics logo on the Arc de Triomphe
8 hours ago

Paris' iconic Arc De Triomphe was lit up with the city's 2024 Olympic Games bid logo at precisely 20:24 local time on Tuesday.

French MPs back law to strip terrorists of their nationality
Photo: AFP

French MPs back law to strip terrorists of their nationality
8 hours ago

The highly contentious prospect of convicted French terrorists being stripped of their nationality has moved a step closer.

Feature
Allure of Paris still draws in tourists despite their fears
All photos: AFP

Allure of Paris still draws in tourists despite their fears
8 hours ago

Three months on from the terror attacks, tourism is still recovering but many visitors simply find the City of Light too enchanting to give in to their fears.

The 11 different Americans that you'll meet in France
Photos: AFP, Steve Webel, menard-mickael/Flickr

The 11 different Americans that you'll meet in France
22 hours ago

Which type of American expat in France are you?

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Politics
Scandals and deals: Fabius bows out (but he won't be short of cash)
Society
The English called 'barbarians' after this 'massacre' of French crepes
National
This terrifying video shows why you should avoid the sea during a storm
Lifestyle
A closer look at the 11 different American expats you'll meet in France
Gallery
Ten reasons why France is a great place to work
Politics
Why France is unlikely to force UK to move border back home
Society
The French foods you need to eat (in moderation) to stay healthy
Lifestyle
So where do all the Americans live in France and where do they avoid?
Public warned as gale force winds and giant waves lash the French coastline
Lifestyle
How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - that's not a joke
Only in France - Pig's entrails, cheese and steak sold in vending machines
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
3,489
jobs available