French Mull Curfew for Paris Youth
- Thursday, July 12, 2001
PARIS (AP) - Politicians in Paris are debating whether to impose a late-night curfew for children in some of the capital's rougher districts, a measure already imposed in some other French cities where crimes by minors are on the rise.
Although no formal discussions are yet under way at Paris City Hall, the issue has become important since France's highest administrative body ruled in favor of a similar curfew imposed in the central city of Orleans.
In that city, children under 13 years old discovered by police on the streets 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. are brought to their parents.
Xavier Chinaud, a centrist lawmaker from Paris' 18th district, said on Thursday that he planned to request a formal discussion of the subject by city officials.
``The majority of children roaming the streets at night are delinquents,'' Chinaud said.
Chinaud said the measure was needed to protect children, who are often ``taken under the wings of older people'' and led astray.
A curfew on children would not affect the heart of Paris - a top tourist destination which drew 26 million visitors last year. But most sightseers never travel to the surrounding suburbs where high-rise public housing is a universe away from the chic, historic center, and where life is rougher.
Martine Durlach, who is responsible for social policies at City Hall, agreed that some areas in the capital were dangerous for children, but she did not back the idea of installing a curfew.
``A curfew is no good anywhere and hearing this word, it has a strong connotation to war,'' she said. Durlach said that she wanted officials to work with schools and parents to help to keep young children off the street.
Paris already has a police division charged with protecting minors.
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