Paris: How the war on street peeing and dog poo is proving a money spinner

Parisians who toss away cigarette butts, pee in the street or fail to clean up their dog’s poo are providing a lucrative source of income for City Hall, the mayor has revealed.

Paris: How the war on street peeing and dog poo is proving a money spinner
Photo: Tavallai/Flickr

Paris's crackdown on incivilities such as peeing in the street, littering or failing to clean up dog mess is reaping rewards, at least financially.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo revealed this week that the number of fines for handed out to “uncivil” locals has shot up by 118 percent – more than double the amount handed out in 2016.

In the first nine months of 2017 some 65,103 Parisians were hit by fines for various uncivil offences such as tossing the butt of their Gauloises cigarette on the pavement or failing to clean up the crottes de chien left by their pooch.  

The steep rise is mainly due to the creation of a crack team of “incivility police” that Hidalgo sent out to stamp out bad street etiquette in December last year.


As she opened their new headquarters in the 15th arrondissement this week Hidalgo said: “We want to make everyone understand that the city is our common space and we must take care of it… We are there to pull them back into line.”

Hidalgo acknowledged that the habits of Parisians are changing but not always for the better.

“The picnic culture is good, but leaving the rubbish behind is a very bad habit,” she said. “

But what will no doubt also please Hidalgo is the money that rogue Parisians have contributed to City Hall’s coffers. Some 90 percent of the fines handed out were worth €68, which by our calculation equals €3,9 million. 

Some 10,000 fines were for tossing cigarette butts (a rise of 731 percent on last year) and 3,500 ( a 115 percent rise) for so-called wild peeing or urinating in the street.

The capital’s “incivility brigade”, otherwise known as the Direction of Prevention, Security and Protection (DPSP) will soon add another 1, 300 agents to its already 1,900- strong force.

After cracking down on bad street behavior the force will also focus its attention on bad driving habits of the locals.

Whether it’s not respecting bad parking, cars going into bus lanes or cyclists riding on the pavements, Parsians better watch out, or be prepared to cough up.


Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro