Cocaine surge on Geneva streets

Cocaine surge on Geneva streets
Valerie Everett (File)

Faced with an increasing cocaine problem, Geneva city police still do not have the power to intervene in street deals.

The mayor of Geneva, Pierre Maudet, wants to strengthen the police force and introduce tougher sentences in an attempt to combat the rising cocaine problem in the city, online news site Le Matin reported.

“Let’s be clear: under the current state laws, city police can not intervene directly to stop a deal. We try to tackle the problem differently.”

Three areas of the city, namely Pâquis, Plainpalais-Junction and the areas around the central station, have been particularly affected by drug dealers, the news site reported.

“The Pâquis… has become a drug supermarket; this is unacceptable,” Maudet said.

The mayor hopes that by increasing the number of foot patrols and a greater police presence in the relevant areas, he will be able to reduce the amount of cocaine being sold on the streets.

Plans are under discussion too to open a new police station in an old abandoned building that was once the scene of many a drug-deal.

“This year, I’ve managed to hire 30 new agents, which is a 25 percent increase in staff,” Maudet said.

The mayor also believes that minimum sentences should be introduced to the penal code and strictly adhered to.

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