People in France denouncing their neighbours for breaking the lockdown rules

French police officers control a person after using a drone to remind citizens of the containment measures for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Nice, in the south of France. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

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People in France have taken to calling the police to “denounce” their neighbours for breaking the lockdown rules.

Calls to the police emergency number – 17 in France – have soared to up to three times the normal number, officers in some areas have reported.

Most of these calls are from people asking questions about what they can or cannot do during the lockdown, but some are calling to snitch on others, say police.

Among them the woman who called to say her husband was sneaking out to see his mistress, reported Le Parisian, or the man who called to ask if he could play petanque with his mates and, when told “non”, denounced his friends.

While these examples are amusingly stereotypical, the issue raises a darker spectre in France, where during the Occupation “denouncing” the neighbours meant handing Jews over to the Nazis.

Police are urging people to only call 17 in an emergency.

Read more via Le Parisian

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