Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

France

Police campaign to stop France’s annual car-torching tradition

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-12-31

It happens every year and the unveiling of the night’s tally is as traditional as New Year’s Eve itself: residents of France’s notorious suburbs go on a car-burning spree. The police are determined to stamp out the yearly orgy of vandalism.

It’s something of a tradition in France. Every New Year’s Eve, hundreds of cars are torched by revellers making no point other than wanton destruction.

And the announcement of the tally of destruction from New Year's Eve has become a media tradition in its own right.

Last year in Strasbourg, traditionally a hotspot for New Year disturbances, some 70 cars were set on fire, while at least 350 were burned in Paris and its surrounding suburbs.

In total, 1,137 cars were set alight last year, slightly less that the 1,147 torched in 2009.

Campaign against lawlessness

But this year the French government is determined to stamp out these scenes of anarchy as part of its highly-publicised campaign against crime.

The country’s Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux will be joining the extra 6,000 police officers (800 more than last year) mobilised to deal with the seasonal arson.

French authorities believe that a clever analytical approach could help push down the figures.

‘Unhealthy competition’

Hortefeux announced on Wednesday evening that the number of cars torched overnight would not be published outright.

The figures will instead be released “later in the month” in a bid to stop the “unhealthy competition” which the authorities believe actually encourages the youths to raise the number of torchings year after year.

The police have also analysed the geography of the last three years’ arson.

“By studying the map of where cars were burned during the last three years we get a fairly good idea of where to place our reinforcements,” one Interior Ministry employee told reporters.
 

Date created : 2010-12-30

  • FRANCE

    Violence eases in Grenoble after weekend of rioting

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Five years after riots, Paris suburb is a neglected powder keg

    Read more

COMMENT(S)