Strasbourg. Burned cars in Cronenburg: exasperated, locals say they are fed up

The cars were set on fire on the afternoon of Monday 28 March in the Cronenbourg district of Strasbourg. (© Ivan Capecchi / Strasbourg News)

A dozen cars were damaged by a fire on Monday evening in a car park on the Amélie Zurcher road in the Cronenbourg district of Strasbourg.

“The first elements collected in situ allow us to establish that the perpetrator (s) set fire to two separate vehicles. […]. These two deliberate fires spread to other vehicles “, explains the police, who intervened at the scene shortly before midnight.

No casualties

“The shutters of three apartments on the ground floor, 1st and 2nd floor of 21 Lavoisier Street were damaged,” he said.

The fire did not cause any casualties and “no relocation was required,” police said.


In the act, it is difficult to loosen the tongues. Confidences are made in half-words and away from prying eyes. However, some residents have expressed their dissatisfaction, such as Mohamed *, who “has lived here for 50 years” and no longer sees such incidents.

“If I could have caught whoever did this, I would have put him in the burning car,” he said.

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The cars were set on fire on the afternoon of Monday 28 March in the Cronenbourg district of Strasbourg.
A large sports field and a school are approaching the place where the cars were burned. (© Ivan Capecchi / Strasbourg News)

“This is shit everywhere”

“Shit is all over the place,” slips, disillusioned, a mother waiting for her son to leave a school, right next to the place where the cars burned. “Young people, motorbikes, quads … It’s dangerous when children go out for lunch,” he laments.

Another mother, present at his side, goes in the same direction: “There are many cars burning, young people roaming the buildings.” “Then some are respectful,” he said.

Cronenbourg, a “Republican Reconquest District”

In early 2021, following an announcement by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on a trip to Strasbourg, Cronenbourg-Hautepierre became a Republican Reconquest District (QRR), as was the Neuhof sector. Meinau-Elsau.

“In fact, the district of Hautepierre is a priority compared to Cronenbourg, in terms of security,” said Christophe Rouyer, departmental secretary of the Alliance PN67 union. “Besides being a QRR, Hautepierre is also a ‘control district’, another particular device designed to reduce crime,” he said.

A certain crime that has been deported to Cronenbourg

“The staff is more concentrated in this first quarter. For example, the CRS are only being reinforced in Hautepierre “, continues Mr. Rust.

“As a result, drug trafficking has passed some of this district under surveillance in Cronenbourg. For example, we have hard drugs in Cronenbourg, which was not the case for a while,” he added.

A field police in theory … but in practice?

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the QRRs are focused on three things: “A strengthened police presence on the ground, an increase in action against trafficking and a new relationship with the population.”

As for the first goal, Mr. Rouyer points out the following:

In theory, TSBs [Brigade spécialisée de terrain, Ndlr] it only has to intervene within the perimeter of the QRR, in order to fulfill one of its main missions, that is to say, to be a police force in contact with the population. In fact, he is forced to intervene on a much wider perimeter, because he is often requisitioned for police-rescue missions.

Christophe RouyerDepartmental secretary of the PN67 Alliance union

Finally, Christophe Rouyer adds: “BSTs are trained to maintain order. Every Saturday they are called to carry out police missions, in the framework of recurring demonstrations or the PFUE [Présidence française du Conseil de l’Union européenne 2022, Ndlr]. It’s another mission that takes them away from their neighborhood. “

Rodeos, drug trafficking and meetings in apartment buildings

According to Sylvain André, deputy zonal secretary of the CFDT Grand Est Alternative Police, “Cronenbourg is an atypical district, where we have always had a juvenile delinquent strip.” The main crime in the district? “Urban detours, building hall concentrations and drug trafficking,” he lists. “Cronenbourg is not really concerned about the problems of urban violence,” he added. André.

Why were these cars burned? For the two mothers mentioned above, it’s either a “settlement of accounts” – “It’s simple, here it is: you owe me hashish, I’ll burn your car” – or a gesture “in reaction to the police presence.”

“It is certain that the dismantling of drug trafficking or rodeo interventions tends to upset the criminal population,” said Sylvain André, before adding: “The relationship between the police and the population is a priority and this is the role of the BST. My colleagues strive to improve this relationship every day. ”

The cars were set on fire on the afternoon of Monday 28 March in the Cronenbourg district of Strasbourg.
Cronenbourg is, with Hautepierre, a district of republican reconquest, that is to say, a place where the police presence is reinforced. (© Ivan Capecchi / Strasbourg News)

An open investigation

For its part, the communication service of the national police explains that “these dismissals do not respond to any specific context.”

“An investigation has been opened into the Bas-Rhin Department of Homeland Security to try to identify the perpetrator or perpetrators of these fires,” the latter said.

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