NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION
with Madeleine McMullin
Girl caught siphoning petrol
A 19 year old woman siphoned petrol from 3 Twingos which were all parked in the same road in Clos Banet, a suburb of Perpignan. She was spotted at about 6.30 in the morning in the act of siphoning the petrol by a local resident of the rue Jean Bullant. She was arrested and admitted that she had emptied the petrol from 2 other Twingos as well. The owners have been resupplied with the petrol from her tank and she will be in court to answer charges in due course.
British man caught taking photos on nudist beach
A 40 year old British man was reported to the police for taking photos of naked minors and adults on his phone. He was arrested and deported from the country and is forbidden to return until he receives a court summons on charges of taking child porn images and premeditated assault for the adult photos. He could be sentenced to up to 5 years for the former charge. He is apparently already known to the British authorities for similar crimes.
Prison for drunk that threatened to slit a waiter’s throat
On Thursday 11th a drunken man was pestering the customers on the terrace of a brasserie on the Ave Général de Gaulle in Perpignan, wanting a cigarette. The waiter asked him to leave, at which point the man pulled a knife from his pocket and threatened to slit the waiter’s throat before running off.
The man who is already known to the police was arrested by a patrol shortly afterwards and is being held in detention pending his trial.
Boar Hunting Season Opens on 15th August
The hunting season has been open since 1st June in 75% of the department but boar hunting only starts on Monday 15th August. The president of the Hunting Federation in the P-O is calling for extreme caution with regards to fires and asking hunters to share cars, not go off road, avoid parking in dry grass and to leave the hills by 11am. Apparently boar hunting needs to start before the grape harvest as the boars come into the vineyards, eat the grapes and cause damage.
New family for Pimpon
Pimpon, the parrot that was left in Perpignan airport has found a new home. He has been adopted by the airport’s fire brigade and installed in a new aviary. The parrot was initially cared for by the director of the airport but he travels a lot, so it was not ideal. Pimpon will be kept entertained by the firemen and there will always be someone to keep him company.
No news of curiste
There have been no sightings of a 69 year old lady who was taking the cure in La Preste since the 8th August when she disappeared, despite searches by helicopter, motor vehicles and on foot with sniffer dogs.
Pillaging of sacred art in Arles sur Tech
A bad surprise awaited residents of the Placette de l’air on Tuesday 16th August. They woke to find an abandoned ladder next to the empty niche which normally held a statue of a Virgin and Child on No. 13, a second home which is currently unoccupied. This was one of the few remaining statues that were still in place in the niches around the town. In the rue de la Place a statue of St François-Xavier disappeared one stormy night. In the Barri d’Avall, the 13th century virgin of the “Desemparats” (our lady of the abandoned, the Patron Saint of the Valencians), a listed wooden statue, disappeared in 2005 when robbers forced the lock for the grill behind which she was kept. The owner has since replaced her with a Virgin and Child by Conrad Paris. And on the Magnard building cairns built of pebbles from the Tech replace a forgotten statue. There is still a statuette of the Virgin mounted on a block of wood which has escaped the disaster. She was in a second niche on the Placette de l’aire but Jeanine Rudelle has moved her to a safe place. She was dressed in a cloak of satin and a bride’s veil by the devout seamstresses of Arles. She is awaiting a either a solid grill to protect her, or hypothetical better times where our culture and heritage will be respected. On 17th August, Adeline Da Silva surprised a visitor to the church of Saint Sauveur and caught him in the middle of stealing a crucifix and a rosary. The person who spoke in Spanish dropped everything and fled.
Robbed 70 year old and headbutted a policeman
A 40 year old man grabbed the bank card of a 70 year old when he was making a withdrawal and was then arrested taking out €500 and headbutted one of the policeman who was trying to detain him. He is well known to the police and admitted taking the money and verbal assault but denies attacking a policeman. He is being held in detention while investigations on other potential offences are being carried out and will come to court on 17th August.
Many lives in danger if fire fighting plane touched someone
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bernier who is in charge of national Civil Security explained why there could have been grave consequences from the incident where a plane nearly hit someone by the lake at Villeneuve de la Raho at the weekend. The pilot was extremely experienced but he and the copilot would have been focused on the lake at the point that they approached it. The planes arrive at several hundred km/hour and manoeuvre to a spot within a few millimetres. The lake is only 1600m wide and they need 1000-1200m in which to pick up the water which is why they were coming down so close to the lake in the first place, but they were so low because they had been forced down by a gust of wind as they came over the cypresses. If they had hit someone the plane could have crashed which would have put the lives of not only the pedestrian and both pilots in danger, but those of everyone threatened by the fire as the firemen rely on the planes to help beat it. The pilots are all extremely experienced ex-air force or ex-civil aviation pilots with thousands of hours of flying experience. None of them was available to be interviewed as they were all either busy working or resting from an extremely strenuous job.
Burkini ban in Leucate
A ban on the wearing of burkinis was be announced in Leucate for the beaches of Leucate Plage and La Franqui. It will come into force at the end of August. Access to the beaches will be forbidden to anyone not correctly dressed with regard to good lay values, hygiene and bathing safety. This will include anyone who is wearing clothes to swim. Leucate is following the lead of several other town halls from Corsica to the Pas de Calais. There are also voices being raised about dangerous hype which could lead to a new stigmatism of a minority practice, notably by moderate muslims.