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Amiens mayor warned of trouble two months ago

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11:40 CEST+02:00
The mayor of Amiens alerted central government two months ago to “renewed delinquency” and a shortage of police officers in the city, a newly-released letter shows. Meanwhile five people have been arrested in connection to the violence.

Amiens mayor, Gilles Demailly, wrote the letter, published today in national paper Libération, to Interior Minister Manuel Valls on May 25, shortly after he entered office.

In it, the Mayor Demailly underlines his personal “exasperation and worry”, as well as that of local residents and security forces, about the “renewed delinquency” evident in some parts of the city.

Demailly reminds Valls of the reduction that 20 officers were recently cut from the local police force - and invites him to Amiens to “appreciate the difficulties we meet”.

“Security and the law are still not present in certain areas. These services, as a whole, cannot be given back to residents, who feel they have been pushed outside the values of the republic,” Demailly wrote.

After the riots early Tuesday morning, in which 16 police officers were injured, Demailly told the AFP: “For months I have been asking for more funding because the tension has been mounting in that part of the city.”

The area concerned was already known to authorities, and had been recently classed as a “priority safety zone”, with the aim of improving security in the area by September with a more obvious police presence.

The publication of the letter comes after five arrests were made in Amiens in connection to the riots.

All arrests were made in the north of the city, near to where the violence took place. The youngest arrested is 15 years old, the eldest is 30.

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