The number of arrests made on New Year’s Eve doubled compared with the same period last year, while the number of vehicles torched fell by 15% this year, according to figures published by the French interior ministry.
Some 804 cars were set on fire on December 31, down from 940 a year ago. The increase in arrests, to 622, has been attributed to a much stronger police presence on the streets because of the increased terror threat level.
Across France, 100,000 police and gendarmes were deployed. Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the results “confirm the effectiveness of the security forces’ work”.
He said there was no specific threat to France on New Year’s Eve, but precautions were taken because of “a general threat to all European capitals”.
Meanwhile, in his traditional New Year’s Eve message, President Hollande described 2015 as a year of “suffering” following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris in January and November, adding: “France is not done with terrorism.”
Hollande added: “These tragic events will remain for ever etched in our memories, they shall never disappear.