“Mister good evening, please switch off the ignition. Do you know that there is a curfew in France? You will be fined for not respecting the curfew.” It was the first big test for the some 12,000 police and gendarmes responsible for enforce the curfew in France, which affects nearly 20 million people. Except exemption, ban on going out between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. in the Paris region and in 8 major cities, including Lille, where Europe 1 followed the first checks.
In a few minutes, the streets emptied. A screed of lead fell on the capital of Flanders. To enforce the curfew, a hundred police officers were mobilized in the Lille metropolis. € 135 fine and checks on motorists and pedestrians.
“I have no papers on me”
This sometimes leads to some tension, such as this dialogue between a young woman and a policeman: “I am homeless, I have no papers on me … what do you want to do? – You are asked to justify with a piece of identity and proof. – I don’t have one! – Okay, so you will be fined by the colleagues who are there. “We are not obliged to believe that she is homeless. She is made up, prepared … I think she is trying to bluff us”, notes Jean-François Papineau, boss of the police in the North.
“It’s 9:10 p.m., you can see I’m playing along”
In the almost empty streets, there are only delivery men on bicycles or scooters. But a few kebabs and pizzerias stay open after 9 p.m., with people inside. “I have clients, I cannot pull them by the colback and throw them out. I told them they had to go out! You can see that I am playing along. It is 9:10 pm. It is already difficult. for us, and for 10 minutes, you come to me …! “, indignant a boss of establishment. “Sir. We note that at 9:00 p.m. your establishment is not closed. We draw conclusions from what we observe. We have nothing more to tell you.”
An assumed firmness, assures Michel Lalande, prefect of Hauts-de-France. “We were in pedagogy last night. Tonight, we are no longer in pedagogy: we are in practical work.” Overall, the curfew was observed. Now remains to be held lengthwise.