How did criminals spoil the Champions League final?

How did criminals spoil the Champions League final?

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Three days after the Champions League final, six people appeared before the Criminal Court of Bobigny, in Seine-Saint-Denis. And among them, no Spanish fan. Three Peruvians, aged 21, 26, 39, who were found in possession of 14 stolen phones. A 24-year-old Algerian in an irregular situation who stole the mobile of a Liverpool fan on the platform of line 13 after the game (he was sentenced to 6 months in prison). A 34-year-old Palestinian man who stole a British victim’s necklace, bit the arm of someone trying to intercept him and punched a police officer while he was in police custody. And finally, a 25-year-old man, accused of having stolen the watch from a Mexican tourist who came to attend the meeting.

On Saturday night, while chaos reigned around the Stade de France, a hundred people were arrested by the police. Just under half of them (48) had been taken into police custody, including a large number of minors. With the exception of the six men tried on Tuesday, all have been released. Pourtant, de l’aveu du maire de Saint-Denis, “il n’y a jamais eu autant de phénomènes de delinquance qu’il y en a eu samedi dernier” autour de l’enceinte sportive qui accueille des événements importants depuis plus de twenty years. “There were multiple attacks and it is unbearable,” Mathieu Hanotin said in an interview with BFM TV.

“The biggest robberies were committed at night”

The Home Secretary seems to prefer to blame the British fans for the disorder that preceded the final. During the press conference he gave on Monday, Gérald Darmanin insisted on the presence of “30,000 to 40,000 English fans” around the Stade de France, “without tickets or with counterfeit tickets.” He based himself on the report given to him by the prefect of police, Didier Lallement, to denounce a “massive, industrial and organized fraud of counterfeit bills.” The document consulted by 20 minutes He hardly mentions the arrival of “300 to 400 young people from sensitive neighborhoods of Saint-Denis” who tried to “force the device” installed around the stadium. On the other hand, not a word about the robberies and assaults suffered by the spectators.

The national delegate of the SGP-Police FO Unit union, Linda Kebbab explains, however, that her colleagues present at the scene on Saturday “had never seen that”. “As soon as people moved away from the field of vision of the police, in particular to go towards line 13, their arm was trapped,” says the trade unionist. “After the game, he adds, they stayed around the stadium. They were making their market. Most of the robberies were committed at night. A massive and unusual presence of hundreds of criminals that night that could be explained by several factors. It began with the RATP strike that did not allow the operation of line B of the RER that serves the stadium from Paris.

“It was poorly managed”

For this reason, the majority of spectators took line D and concentrated from 7:00 p.m. on at the pre-filter point enabled by the organization. Several of them posted photos and videos of the stalled crowd on social media. “The criminals took it for a phone call,” Linda Kebbab continues. “It smelled like money,” adds Mathieu Hanotin. Subsequently, the prefect of police made the “decision to raise this barrier to avoid a drama due to the crowd that gathered” at the exit of a tunnel. Thus leaving the field open to thugs to access the surroundings of the stadium.

However, “the police system was intended to fight against vandalism”, and not to deal with “acts of common law crime in significant proportions”, considers the mayor of Saint-Denis. A police officer present the night of the match confirms this. “He mishandled himself. They put us in static in places where it didn’t move. And they took forever to move us when there was a need for people elsewhere. So we were able to get the job done,” he says.

Still according to this policeman, communication between the different units in the place was “a little complicated.” In fact, there was “some violence between the fans at the end of the game”. But according to this agent, the disorder was mainly due to local criminals who came to rob spectators. A problem poorly anticipated by the authorities… And poorly managed at the time. The fault, Linda Kebbab believes, of the prefect of police who “didn’t know how to adapt to that”.

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