France Hails ‘Calm’ New Year’s Eve as ‘Only’ 745 Vehicles Set on Fire

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French authorities have hailed New Year’s Eve as a success for having a “calm” night in which only 745 vehicles were set on fire and nearly 400 people were arrested.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin proclaimed on Monday that the start of 2024 was “calm” by French standards, saying that “vehicle fires are down by 10 per cent, as are mortar fire against law enforcement which is down by 80 per cent.”

“This night again alongside the police mobilized for our security. Thank you to them for their commitment. Major festivities took place peacefully, particularly in Paris, where more than a million people gathered,” Darmanin added.

The minister of the interior acknowledged that there were “small scuffles in Bordeaux and Nîmes” but said “things are going as calmly as possible… it’s calmer than last year but there are a lot more people.”

However, despite the reduction over last year, there were still 745 vehicles set ablaze throughout the country during the festivities and 389 people were arrested for various criminal acts, Le Figaro reported.

The country was on high alert for a possible terror attack, with tensions across Europe raised in the wake of the outbreak of war in Israel following the Islamist Hamas terror attacks on October 7th.

There have already been two suspected Islamist terror attacks in France since then, with a teacher being stabbed to death by an illegal migrant and a man being killed and two others left injured in a stabbing spree near the Eiffel Tower by a man who is reported to have shouted out “Allahu Akbar” during the rampage last month.

To deter further terror attacks, France mobilised nearly 100,000 police officers and soldiers to Paris for New Year’s Eve, introduced a 12:30 am curfew for festivities, prohibited the sale of alcohol and knives in certain areas, and imposed police searches for those wishing to enter the main areas for the celebration.

Paris police prefect Laurent Nunez said following the evening that “the police are doing extremely tough work” and that New Year’s Eve was used by law enforcement as a practice for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games to ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of people gathering in the city, particularly along the Champs-Élysées.

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