Tuesday, 30 August 2011
The Times decides to cover the Marseilles crime wave. No mention of the Muslim factor of course.
The biggest football club in France was relieved yesterday by the arrival of a transfer reputedly capable of ending the disruption that hit last season.

President Sarkozy sent one of his toughest advisers to Marseilles to tackle a crime wave which is blighting the city’s reputation and undermining the aspirations of its First Division side. Alain Gardère, 54, was appointed chief of police after a spate of murders, muggings and robberies.

Police said that there were more Kalashnikov rifles in France’s second city than in Kabul.

Ten Olympique de Marseille players have been robbed by gangs recently. Lucho González, the Argentine midfielder, plans to leave before the transfer deadline after robbers broke into his home, threatened him and his girlfriend and stole jewellery, credit cards and his Bentley.

Vitorino Hilton, the club’s Brazilian defender, obtained a transfer to Montpellier this month after six robbers held ten of his relatives hostage and beat him over the head with a rifle butt in July. They took cash, jewellery, computers and designer bags.

José Anigo, the sporting director of the club, said: “Every time I signed a player this year the first questions they asked were ‘can you guarantee security?’ and ‘are my family at risk?’ Bringing players to Marseilles in those conditions is complicated. You have to be a magician.”

Officials say that 26 people are assaulted every day in the city, which recorded a 19 per cent increase in armed robberies last year compared with 2009. Burglaries increased by 40 per cent over the same period and there were 84 murders or attempted murders.

Jean-Marie Allemand, of the Alliance police union, said: “There have always been criminals in Marseilles, but before they were members of big gangs and they targeted each other. Now, the bullets are flying all over the place.”
Source: The Times (£)

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