Occupied for years by dealers, the buildings of the City of Birds, in Perpignan, have regained their tranquility. The traffickers were driven out by the police at the end of May.

It is a small nothing of everyday life that changes, that said, a lot of things. The inhabitants of the Cité des Oiseaux, in Perpignan, can again open their windows at night without being hampered by the noise of the dealers who had installed a real drug supermarket in the buildings for years and who, if they did not were “not mean” in the opinion of many residents, could be “very, very disturbing”.

At the end of a vast operation of harassment of the area carried out by the police for several weeks, the dealers left the scene around the end of May, leaving behind an unexpected calm. “You almost have the impression of being in a residential area,” says Fatia. She has lived there for almost two years and “almost left” because of the nuisance caused by the young dealers.

“It was unlivable,” recalls Sabine, a neighbor. “In the evening, we had to be careful, we were afraid for the children.” In particular, she keeps in mind “the car chases with the police”. For many, beyond the insecurity, it was above all the noise that was a problem and that made some tenants leave. “Listen! The birds singing, we never heard them”, assures Kévin pointing to his open window from which in fact chirping. “This calm there, it did not exist. It’s been 5 years since there was this calm. We sleep again at night. We couldn’t even watch TV, or make a phone call” , he explains.

“I feel like there are a lot more older people coming out, it’s amazing” – Fatia, a resident

“A lot of elderly people have bought here and cannot leave, explains Fatia. They were doubly confined to their homes. There was the Covid and the dealers.”

The departure of the dealers from the City of Birds was made possible by an increase in police operations on the ground for several weeks, a harassment which ended up discouraging the traffickers. “He was tracking them,” comments a resident of the neighborhood. “Hats off to the police!” Greets another gratefully. “They do not let go, when you call them, they arrive within a minute,” continues this owner of an apartment in the residence, confident for the rest, “I do not think they will come back. super watched, if I call the cops now, they’ll show up in 5 minutes “.

Others are more cautious. “We must keep this pace, if there is a relaxation of the authorities, we will have the same problem again”, warns Mustapha. This inhabitant would like to thank the mayor, Louis Aliot, who had committed to “eradicate thugs” from the start of his mandate, targeting in particular the city of birds. “Mr. Aliot is listening to the population”, greets in turn Véronique who “had the nerve to buy here because the apartments are very beautiful” and who made the departure of the dealers a personal victory.

“It’s not over,” Véronique immediately warns. She is now waiting for the buildings to be rehabilitated and for the arrival of new services and leisure activities in her neighborhood. A safeguard plan must be implemented in the City of Birds. It includes the refurbishment of buildings, walkways, courtyards and parking lots. “Look at the condition of the buildings,” Kévin laments. Many doors have been forced open, accesses have also been walled up by the police, intercoms and letter boxes are almost non-existent and the walls and facades remain dirty. Some residents also point the finger at the incivility of some tenants.

“We got rid of the dealers, now we want to get rid of the tenants who throw their garbage or their furniture out of the window”, summarizes one owner.

As for the dealers, they did not fly into the wild. In particular, they fell back on the HLM Muchart residence, near the Cité des Oiseaux.

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Ref: https://www.francebleu.fr