- The inhabitants of Aubiers are afraid to leave their homes and many have not sent their children to college after the murder of a teenager on Saturday evening, in the central square of the city.
- Elected officials are counting on the reinforced presence of field police officers and on mediation work to calm the climate in this district.
- A major requalification project is planned for the coming years in this city which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
The previous major drama that shook the Aubiers, a district in the north of Bordeaux, dates back to 2001. A 10-year-old boy was killed by the one called “the madman of Bègles”. Twenty years later, the city known to be calm is again in mourning after a shooting with automatic weapons on Saturday evening, in which an uneventful 16-year-old schoolboy was killed. Four other people including three teenagers were injured but their lives are not in danger.
Fear and truancy
If five arrests took place on Monday, the inhabitants still live in fear. “They are afraid of blind reprisals after this indiscriminate punitive descent too,” said Amine Smihi, deputy mayor of Bordeaux in charge of public tranquility, security and mediation. I insist on the fact that we should not associate this despicable act with the neighborhood in which 98% of young people do not kill and do not commit criminal acts ”. If the facts are confirmed the attack on Saturday evening would have to do with a gunshot wound inflicted on a resident of Chantecrit two weeks ago.
Since the shooting, absenteeism at the college in which Lionel, the victim, was educated, has been strong and the streets of the city little frequented. “People do not dare to go out too much and the teachers and employees of the activity center are bruised,” comments Vincent Maurin, deputy mayor of the Bordeaux-Maritime district. A psychological unit has been opened at the animation center ”.
“We are trying to move forward but there will be a heavy scar,” comments Nouhra, coordinator of the Urban Vibration School association, which offers youth activities and mediation in the neighborhood. Families try to be there for each other and to stay together ”. Before this drama, she describes a good atmosphere in the city, taking the example of inter-neighborhood matches which go so well that they invariably end with barbecues.
She does not understand “what went through the minds” of the attackers, to attack unarmed young people who were selling chocolates and cans to earn some pocket money. The rivalry between Aubiers and Chantecrit is well known and gives rise to “childishness” or even “small fights” at college or outside, according to Nouhra, but here, a milestone has clearly been crossed. “Ours could never have done that,” she breathes.
More field and prevention police officers
Since the arrival of the new ecological majority at the head of the city, there have already been several inter-neighborhood brawls with firearms. “They have always existed, estimates the security assistant, but there has been an increase in their frequency for two to three years.” If the State is in charge of fighting against the trafficking which rots the lives of the inhabitants of these working-class districts, the town hall wants to ensure “a presence of the republican police” by carrying out a plan to recruit police officers on the ground. Six have been hired as reinforcements since this summer and ten per year will come to reinforce the workforce, during the mandate. Mediation and prevention work is also carried out in parallel, in conjunction with associative actors.
For the new majority, this district, which is one of the poorest in the region and in which the unemployment rate is 55%, also shows the failure of successive “suburban plans”. “When the major operation on the new Ginko district was carried out, it would have been necessary to integrate the requalification of Les Aubiers, which no longer corresponds to peaceful urban planning,” said Amine Smihi. “In the new districts there is hardly any very social housing (PLAI), deplores the deputy mayor of the district. The lowest incomes are all found on these offers (at Aubiers) whereas they should be better distributed ”.
Restructuring planned for the coming years
A major requalification piloted by the national agency for urban renewal (ANRU) and with a budget of 100 million euros is planned at Aubiers. Vincent Maurin seeks to accelerate it and hopes that it will be deployed between 2021 and 2025 in order to “enhance and open up the neighborhood”.
A school group must be deconstructed and rebuilt, 400 housing units (not PLAI) must be built near the city and allotment gardens must be added. “In my opinion, it will also be necessary to initiate a reflection on the housing allocation policy of the city itself, points out Vincent Maurin. We have to understand why we only come by default and allow people who do not have low incomes to come and settle there ”. In short, to return to a mix that existed in the 1980s.
He also wants the return of an annex of the town hall within the district, which would welcome in particular his permanence as deputy mayor, and the creation of a market in the central square Ginette Neveu, the one where Lionel suddenly lost his life on Saturday .
He played the leading role in a small film on solidarity in the district which was in progress and was to be screened in 2021, to celebrate the 50 years of the city of Aubiers.