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09 December 2021
Established in Paris between 2019 and 2021,
the “crack plan” aims to tackle the problem of
crack cocaine, a hard, cheap drug that has been heavily trafficked in the north-east of Paris
since the 1990s. This plan was developed by a group of actors who sought to coordinate
their actions to address the increasing number and concentration of drug addicts in the 18
and 20
arrondissements: the prefecture of the Île-de-France region, the Paris police
headquarters, the Interministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Addictive
Behaviour (MILDECA), the regional health agency (ARS), the City of Paris and the Paris
prosecutor’s office were among the signatories to the protocol implemented over
the last
three years. The flash audit published today by the Court of Auditors, conducted by the Île-
de-France regional chamber of accounts (CRC), is the result of a targeted and rapid
investigation that has produced an initial assessment of the implementation of this policy
and lays out possible avenues for improvement.
Primary objectives: getting crack users off the street and treating health-related harm
The vast majority of the 33 actions listed in this plan relate to health and social care, with a
combination of measures designed to strengthen existing systems (such as patrols) and
experiment with support systems (with shelters taking precedence over addiction treatment).
Reducing breaches of public peace and safety was an indirect and secondary objective, as it
s dependent on the success of social assistance actions. The main strength of the “crack
plan” was to offer a comprehensive approach, bringing together all the relevant public
stakeholders alongside associations of social workers and doctors, who were responsible for
implementing actions in the field.
Real but partial results
The Île-de-France CRC finds that the majority of the planned actions (i.e. 19 out of the 33
initiated in June 2021) have produced uneven results. The total expenditures of the City of
Paris, and in particular those of the central government, have exceeded their initial
commitments (€3M per year) to reach more than €24M. This increase in expenditures, in
addition to the development of patrol systems, is largely due to the increase in the number of
places in emergency housing and social reintegration systems (ASSORE, PHASE) during the
health crisis. Initial reception facilities (rest rooms, lower risk consumption rooms) have
encountered difficulties in recruiting staff and finding new suitable locations. However, the
lack of accommodations for longer stays has fundamentally hampered the pathway and
support approach that was central to the social assistance measures provided in the plan.
Intrinsic limits that account for the incomplete results
According to the CRC, the limits of the “crack plan” mainly relate t
o its scope of intervention,
which was effectively geographically restricted to Paris proper, and which did not factor in
efforts by the police and courts to fight against trafficking. In addition, the scope of the actions
adopted under the plan turned out to be more limited than in the proposals formulated by
the Interministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Addictive Behaviour (MILDECA)
during the preliminary consultation phase
which planned to open rest areas during the
night, among other measures. The CRC notes that since the plan was designed with an
experimental approach, it was not intended to cover all crack users wandering in the street
(700 to 800 precarious users).
The end of the 2019-
2021 “crack plan”: an urgent need to learn lessons
While coordination between public and non-profit actors was strong at the start of the health
crisis in 2019, it has gradually eroded to the point of losing all momentum. In addition, the
CRC notes that execution of the plan was insufficiently monitored. As such, this initial
assessment finds that additional efforts must be made if we want to reduce the presence of
crack users on public streets, and that coordination must be re-initiated between public actors
and non-profit operators.
Read the report
Emmanuel Kessler
Head of Communications
+33 (0)1 42 98 55 62
Julie Poissier
Head of press relations
+33 (0)1 42 98 97 43
Court of Accounts
Court of Accounts