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TARASCON, A LOCAL COURT UNDER PRESSURE | RMC Story |

The crews from Enquete Prioritaire spent three months immersed in one of the 170 “lower courts”, alongside the magistrates who handle the cases. These are small, apparently quiet, communities that, in reality, face the same problems as the big cities. Petty, minor and serious crimes. Trafficking of all sorts, violent youths, etc. Judges who don’t have the same resources as the courts in major cities. But who don’t hesitate to go into the field themselves to assist the police in their enquiries. State prosecutor, Patrick Desjardin, will have a tough job dealing with an entire network of Rumanian poachers operating throughout Europe. In illegal areas on the Rhone, they fish tonnes and tonnes of fish unfit for human consumption, a threat to health as they are filled with chemical products, notably PCBs. A traffic estimated to be worth several million euros per year. For the first time in his life, he will supervise a vast dragnet operation throughout Europe. Anouk Aimé, the deputy prosecutor, has declared war on drugs. In two years, she has already dismantled five networks. Will she be able to neutralize the dealing spot in the housing projects of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence? A place that is well known as its nickname is “the Drive”, because, like in fast-food outlets, you don’t need to get out of your car to buy your cannabis. Finally, it’s a maniac threatening to “die in spectacular fashion”, who will be occupying Hélène Mourges, the other deputy prosecutor. A man of 40, deep in debt and at the end of his tether, who symbolises all by himself the despair that is characteristic of the region. One in four residents lives below the poverty line, twice as many as in the rest of France! A few months ago, for reasons of redrawing the justice system map, the Tarascon Court very nearly disappeared. After the military barracks and the gendarmerie, that would have been a disaster for the town and its dependent communes: Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Chateaurenard, Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, etc. A court with slender resources and nineteen judges. Yet one which strives, as best it can, to impose the rule of the law of the Republic throughout its territory.