PARIS – Police arrested five people in northern France on Thursday, the first arrests in connection with recent rioting that renewed concerns about security in marginalized areas facing high unemployment.
The eruption of violence in Amiens was a reminder of long-standing tensions between police and young people in impoverished neighborhoods. Those tensions flared into riots in 2005 that raged unchecked across the country for nearly a month.
Several such areas, including Amiens, were recently promised more security and money, and Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday that he would add 500 more police jobs next year as part of efforts to tackle the problem. That pace of hiring would continue for years to come, he added.
The local government in Amiens said two suspects were caught while trying to burn garbage cans overnight. All five arrested, including two minors, will see a judge later Thursday.
More than 100 people are believed to have taken part in the rioting, which left more than a dozen police officers injured and a pre-school and a public gym in ashes. Police are still looking for more participants, although tensions appear to have subsided since Tuesday.