MAP: where and why are there curfews in France? Who is affected?

A fifth commune in the south has banned young people from wandering the streets at night

Police at night in Toulon, France
Pennes-Mirabeau, near Marseille, is the latest commune to announce a curfew
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A fifth commune in the south of France has brought in a curfew banning children from wandering the streets unaccompanied at night. 

The mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau, near Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône) announced the ban on children under the age of 13 from being out unaccompanied between 23:00 and 06:00 from April 25.


"Banning our youngest citizens from going out alone at night is a way to prevent anti-social behaviour while encouraging their parents to take responsibility for them,” wrote Michel Amiel, the mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau on Facebook. “It’s really about protecting young people from themselves.”

Why age 13?

Under French law children under 13 are exempt from criminal liability for their actions. 

Below this age, the law considers that a minor does not have the capacity to understand the consequences of his or her actions and cannot be found guilty of an offence.

The mayor of the commune of 21,000 inhabitants, north west of Marseille, claims the measure is in line with Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s calls “to boost authority” following a spate of anti-social behaviour perpetrated by minors in Nice.

“There is a real problem of violence among young people,” announced Mr Attal during a visit to a state boarding school in Nice on April 22. “Addressing this problem is one of the key priorities of my government.”

Which towns have curfews?

Nice (Alpes-Maritimes)

Ban on children younger than 13 from going out unaccompanied between 23:00 and 06:00.

Starts May 1 and lasts all summer.

“We first implemented this measure in 2009,” Nice mayor Christian Estrosi told BFMTV, “but we discontinued it during Covid. This is a resumption of the previous measure.”

“It is effective at reducing anti-social behaviour.”

Béziers (Hérault)

Ban on children younger than 13 from going out unaccompanied in the town centre and the Iranget Grangette and Devèze parts of town between 23:00 and 06:00.

Started April 22 and ends on September 30 .

The measure hopes to stem the “growing number of underaged youths on the streets at night,” who according to mayor Robert Ménard in Le Monde, contribute to an “increasing insecurity and urban violence”.

In particular, he points to the burning of a school in 2019 and the riots of July 2023.

However, when questioned by Agence France-Presse, Mr Ménard could not say precisely how the under-13 age group contributes to urban crime, calling it a “blind spot” for law enforcement.

Cagnes-sur-Mer (Alpes-Maritimes)

Ban on children younger than 13 from going out unaccompanied in the town centre, concerning avenue Renoir, avenue de la Gare, le Val-Fleuri and le Cros-de-Cagnes. The ban lasts until October 31 and has been renewed each year since 2004

“This isn’t about anti-social behaviour,” mayor Louis Nègre told Var Matin. “The measure is just in place as a question of common sense and prevention”

Montfaucon (Gard)

Ban on people younger than 18 from going out unaccompanied between 23:00 and 06:00.

The curfew has been in place since 2022 when the village of 1,300 inhabitants faced a spate of antisocial behaviour. 

“Teens were messing about, deliberately chopping down trees planted by the mairie,” mayor Olivier Robelet told BFM. “It was costing us a lot of money… we had to find a way to stop them.”