“Nearly 1,000 deal point ramming operations are conducted every month. » Gérald Darmanin welcomed the figures for the fight against narcotics, one of his priorities, this Sunday, October 2. On the social network Twitter, the Minister of the Interior announced that 719 points of sale were dismantled between 1er January 2021 and July 31, 2022, a drop of almost 20%.
The ministry considers as “deal point” any place on the public highway where traffickers sell narcotics daily. The most important can bring in several tens of thousands of euros per day. There would remain more than 3,200 across France, including overseas. “Deal points are directly connected to local demand”underlined Stéphanie Cherbonnier, head of the anti-narcotics office (Ofast), in an interview at Sunday newspaper.
According to her, “everything starts from consumer demand, which is increasing in medium-sized cities”. Deal points can therefore appear and disappear according to requests. The decline “does not mean that all these points have definitively disappeared, since these organizations are agile and inventive enough to invest in new locations or diversify by using social networks”, warns Stéphanie Cherbonnier.
Shelling for what convictions?
Among the areas most targeted by “ramming” operations are the Mediterranean arc, in particular Bouches-du-Rhône, Île-de-France, Rhône and the North, in connection with the major cities of Paris , Marseilles, Lyons and Lille. Ofast also notes a great mobility of dealers and sellers, who no longer hesitate to leave metropolitan areas to deploy in medium-sized towns.
The question of sanctions at the end of the chain arises. Behind the “shelling” of the police who go to the scene, what is the share of arrests and convictions? On the consumer side, nearly 225,000 criminal fixed fines for the use of narcotics have been issued since their generalization in September 2020, “i.e. an average of 308 per day”, according to the boss of Ofast. In September 2021, their collection rate was estimated at 34%, a rate “completely satisfactory” according to the Interior Ministry.