• France's news in English

French mayor's 'anti-burglar wall' divides town

The Local · 5 Feb 2015, 09:35

Published: 05 Feb 2015 09:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
In the Hénin-Beaumont commune in the north of France, the National Front Mayor Steeve Briois decided to take action against the rising tide of aggressive burglars. 
To keep them away from a residential area, he lobbied for a thick stone wall to be placed directly across a street to keep unwanted visitors away.
The problem? The wall is only one metre high.
After the structure came under fire from the French press on Thursday, the mayor took to his blog to defend the wall, stating that "around 90 percent" of the 200 people in the area had voted in favour of the construction. 
"The decision was made after two burglars stabbed a man in his home - including once in the head," he explained. "200 residents then met up to to find an urgent solution to this intolerable situation."
"The safety of my fellow citizens is a priority (...) and I won't give up," he concluded
Despite the fact that the "impenetrable wall" looks rather conquerable indeed, other locals are unimpressed for other reasons. 
One woman, who voted against the wall, told French newspaper Le Figaro that she didn't think building a wall in the street was "a real solution".
Story continues below…
"Today, my husband had to take an 8-kilometre detour just to get to work," she said. 
French news website La Voix du Nord reported that a new petition to take down the wall is now doing the rounds in the area.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available