Europe 1 with AFP 3:31 p.m., January 01, 2023

The balance of New Year's Eve is more favorable than that of previous years, said Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

Despite an increasing number of arrests, there was less material damage and overflows throughout France.

There were 20% fewer cars burned than last year on New Year's Eve 2023, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Sunday, adding that there had been no "notable incidents " in France.

There were 490 arrests, "11%" more than last year, said the minister, who was speaking from Mayotte where he is visiting for two days.

20% fewer burned cars

New Year's Eve 2023 therefore becomes the one with the "fewest vehicles burned and the most arrests", he said later in a press release.

Those arrested "wanted to fire mortars at the police" or "wanted to set fire to cars", some of which to do "insurance scams", added Gérald Darmanin.

There were "about 20% fewer burnt cars this year compared to last year", which was "already a year in which there were fewer burnt vehicles", he continued.

A total of 690 vehicles were set on fire compared to 874 in 2022, he said in his press release.


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This assessment is due "to the very important presence of the gendarmes and the police", in particular in Paris, assured the minister.

Some 90,000 police and gendarmes were mobilized for New Year's Eve.

In Paris, a million people gathered on the Champs-Elysées where the traditional fireworks display was back after two years of absence due to Covid-19.

A record number of arrests in the Bas-Rhin

In some departments, the toll of arrests has reached record figures.

The security record of New Year's Eve is "more favorable than in previous years" in the Bas-Rhin, announced Sunday the prefecture of Bas-Rhin, which however notes "a record number of arrests", with a sixty people arrested.

"Arrests are increasing very sharply this year," said the prefecture in a press release, according to which the police made 62 arrests during the night of New Year's Eve, against 25 last year.


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According to a police source, the people arrested, "mainly minors", were arrested for "mortar fire", "degradation" or even for "detention of fireworks".

The prefecture had in fact issued orders prohibiting firecrackers and fireworks, the sale of petrol in jerrycans and that of alcohol on public roads and imposing a curfew for minors under 16 years of age.

"Three law enforcement officers were slightly injured, following the throwing of fireworks," said the prefecture.

She did not mention the number of cars burned but according to a police source, who also drew a "rather positive assessment" of this evening, "about sixty vehicles" were set on fire in Strasbourg.

The prefecture also did not immediately specify the number of people injured by handling firecrackers or fireworks, which are very popular in Alsace during the end-of-year celebrations and sometimes cause serious injuries.

Two years ago, a man died after having his head blown off by a mortar.

According to another police source, four people have been injured this year, one of whom had four fingers torn off while handling a mortar.

The other three were more lightly injured.