….a quick glance at the latest local news with  Caroline Manson

Tobacco sales increase

Tobacco sales have risen sharply in the french border regions since the start of confinement – by up to 20%. This doesn’t mean that people are turning to cigarettes to relive the boredom, it just reflects the fact that people can no longer buy cheaper cigarettes over the border so are having to buy locally.

Man forces roadblock in Perpignan

At 10pm on a Saturday evening police enforcing the curfew in Perpignan were alarmed to see a car driving at high speed towards their road block on Avenue Julian Panchot. They pulled out their guns and he screeched to a halt in front of them and got out of his car, with the obvious intention of fighting them. A quick squirt of tear-gas solved the situation and the man was arrested. He is just one of 125 people charged over the weekend with travelling on the public highway without an authorised reason.

Man killed in Amélie-les-Bains

At 10pm local residents called the police when they heard cries coming from the river-bank. Upon arrival firefighters discovered the body of a man lying on the bank of the Tech, below the road. The 50-year old man was well-known in the region as he regularly toured around with his horse and cart – just one day before he had been seen in Place Catalogne in Perpignan, grazing his horse, and he had also recently been fined by police for travelling on the D900. A homeless man, of German origin, has been arrested and ‘Pirate’ the horse has been taken to an animal refuge.

Pharmacy staff threatened

A man walked into the Port Pharmacy in Canet-en-Roussillon with his telephone in hand, ready to film. He handed over a prescription for Plaquénil, a derivative of Chloroquine, which some hospitals are using in the fight against Covid-19. When the staff explained that they could no longer supply this drug as the rules had changed, the man became aggressive and coughed on them. The man (already known to the gendarmes) was arrested. Since this incident the pharmacy has lowered the metal shutter and now serves clients through the gate.

Prison inmate attempts to escape

Alerted by detainees banging on cell doors and burning blankets, security guards found an inmate lying on the ground in his cell saying he is having difficulty breathing. Suspecting a Covid-19 case, the pompiers were called and he was transported to hospital. Only one officer (in a protective suit) was allowed to accompany him, and two other officers remained outside). His handcuffs were removed while the medics installed a drip, and a scan and coronavirus test were performed. At around 5.30am while the guard was in the toilet (as he could not be relieved) the prisoner ran out of the building, climbed over a wall and arrived on the public highway. He was eventually detained by the three officers and placed in solitary confinement. Luckily the inmate tested negative for the virus, as the officers had to intervene with no protection equipment.

Man tries to walk to Spain

A young man from Perpignan was turned back by the border controls when he tried to drive into Spain to buy cigarettes, so he decided to walk on a hiking trail to get to Le Perthus. He got lost, fell into a stream and had to call emergency services to be rescued. He was helicoptered out and was fined 135€ for breaking the confinement regulations.

And finally ….

A young man of polish origin is in police custody in Pau, having spent the night of his life on Saturday. He let himself be locked in the Auchan store and spent the evening drinking whiskey, champagne and watching porn films. He was discovered the next morning, very drunk, and was transported to Pau hospital where he broke a heart monitoring machine by pouring hydroalcoholic. gel on it. He spent the next day in Police custody ready to appear in court on Monday.

Caroline Manson is an independent Property Consultant – for advice on buying, selling, renting or renovating, don’t hesitate to contact her at

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