“Our society is in a state of emergency,” Hugo Cadet, a lawyer, says in a brasserie in the Old Port in Marseille.

He and Hassen Hammou, the founder of an association called Trop Jeune Pour Mourir (Too Young to Die), are discussing some of the underlying social and judicial issues behind rising violence in Marseille.

So far this year, the city has seen 45 drug-related murders, one of the worst yearly rates on record.

Civilian deaths – such as that of 24-year-old Socayna, who was killed in September by a stray bullet in her bedroom – underscore the urgency of solving the problem that extends beyond those directly involved.

She was the third innocent civilian killed in similar incidents this year