less than one in two Marseillais say they feel calm when they walk alone at night in their city

According to a survey published Monday, Marseille is one of the European cities where the feeling of insecurity and unsanitary conditions are the strongest.


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In Marseille, "The good Mother" watches over the Old Port, illustrative photo.  (BERNARD THOMASSON / FRANCEINFO)

Less than one in two Marseillais (43%) say they feel calm when they walk alone at night in their city. This is the result of an investigation carried out by the European Commission, published Monday February 19. More than 800 residents of 83 European cities were surveyed on different subjects: cleanliness, employment, culture, etc. On the feeling of insecurity, as on unsanitary conditions, Marseille comes at the bottom of the ranking, behind Rome and Athens.

A feeling that persists even if the figures for daily delinquency, excluding the settling of scores, have been falling for several years in Marseille. For some residents, night outs are becoming increasingly rare. This is the case of Léonie who lives in the first arrondissement: “In the evening no, I don’t go out, I avoid. By myself no. It’s little things, people who bother, who follow… Once I had to run home.”

“After a certain hour, I’m a little more on my guard”

A daily situation for Céline, at the time when she was just going out with the girls, to the Old Port: “Now that I only go out with my friends, no one comes to get me drunk anymore. But when I was alone… There are guys who come to see you, who follow you, who call you and if you don’t don’t go back, they’re insulting you.”

Ten years after their arrival in Marseille, Juliette and Bart are more serene but they have had to adapt. “After a certain hour I am a little more on my guard, says the young woman. After two in the morning, I walk faster, I look around me a little more to see if there are people, if there are groups of guys too.”

“At the very beginning we are a little impressed by this city and then there is a sort of formatting that takes place. You have to be more aggressive in the way you walk, you trace, you don’t get by like that while strolling around.”

Bart, based in Marseille for 10 years

at franceinfo

However, the prefecture has observed an overall drop in vicious violence in the city center of 31% over the last five years. Less 70% for violent thefts since 2012. Sébastien has lived in Marseille for four years and is calm: “I’ve never had any bad experiences. I think it’s more of a reputation. Things that have been hanging around for a number of years and chasing this town.”

According to Yannick Ohanessian, deputy for public peace for the City, insecurity is reinforced by unsanitary conditions and he points out the role of the Metropolis: “It is the deterioration of the roads, your sidewalks, your pedestrian spaces which contribute to this feeling of insecurity. You have support from the competent authorities which is not up to the level of the second largest city in France .” But what mainly fuels this feeling are of course the 49 deaths linked to drug trafficking last year. An absolute record for Marseille.

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