The statistical service of the Ministry of the Interior published this Tuesday a series of data highlighting a sharp increase in delinquency in France: assault and battery increased by 15%, sexual violence by 11%, homicides by 8 %…
Part of this increase, in particular concerning burglaries or delinquency committed on the public highway, is explained by a post-pandemic catch-up phenomenon.
Some increases, particularly on sexual or domestic violence, are linked to the release of speech.
The note, published this Tuesday morning by the statistical service of the Ministry of the Interior, is final.
“In France, almost all the indicators of recorded crime are on the rise in 2022”, we can read from the first sentence.
Voluntary blows and injuries jumped 15% in one year.
Domestic violence by 17%.
Sexual violence by 11%.
As for homicides, we recorded, in 2022, 69 more than last year, or 948. We could also mention burglaries, car thefts or scams.
What can we learn from this litany of numbers?
Should we deduce that society has become more dangerous than before?
“We observe, on a series of indicators, a post-health crisis catch-up”, analyzes the sociologist Mathieu Zagrodzki, associate researcher at Cesdip, the Center for sociological research on law and penal institutions.
The years 2020-2021, marked by the various confinements, the curfew, the almost general telework and the fall in tourist numbers, have made it almost impossible – or at least much more difficult – the commission of certain offences.
When the population is locked in their homes, burglars find it more difficult to commit their misdeeds.
When the streets and public transport are virtually empty, pickpocketing is more occasional.
Thus, while the increase in so-called street crime was marked in 2022, it nevertheless remains lower than that of 2019.
What about the increase in homicides?
Is it also the result of catching up?
At first glance no, since between 2019 and 2022, they increased by 7%.
But the latest figures should be taken with caution.
The investigation specifies, in fact, that they have not been “stabilized”.
In short: some data may have been double counted.
"What is certain, however, is that since the 1980s, the number of homicides in France has been divided by three", specifies Mathieu Zagrodzki.
Among the causes cited: the decline in armed robbery, the virtual disappearance of political assassinations and improvements in medicine, which today make it possible to save lives that would not have been saved thirty years ago.
Indicators on the rise linked to better consideration?
If each year, the publication of these data is the occasion of interminable palaver on the dangerousness of our society, the increase of certain statistics is, in certain cases, the sign of a better apprehension of the phenomenon.
Thus, since 2017 and the #MeToo movement, which encouraged the freedom of women to speak, the number of complaints of sexual violence has increased sharply.
Similarly, awareness around domestic violence can explain, at least partially, the increase in “battery and injury” which encompasses it or the increase in “domestic violence”.
In the entourage of Gérald Darmanin, we are also pleased with these figures and we put forward a “better care for victims”.
Still, in this regard, the figures are very largely below reality.
Scams, a steady increase for several years
Some increases are also the result of a political choice.
This is, for example, the case with the issue of narcotics.
The number of defendants for drug use has increased by 13% in one year.
Already last year, it jumped 38%.
The increase is less marked for those questioned for drug trafficking but is real: + 4% in 2022. An almost mathematical increase since, in one year, the number of operations aimed at dismantling deal points has increased by 159 %, we say to the Ministry of the Interior.
In the midst of this avalanche of figures, certain increases, constant and marked, seem however to underline delinquent tendencies.
This is particularly the case with scams.
+ 8% between 2021 and 2022, and an increase of almost 30% since 2019. “It is particularly driven by all scams on the Internet, which are easier, lucrative and less dangerous than burglaries”, notes sociologist Mathieu Zagrodzki.
Who has never received a training account scam in their mailbox or a message asking for a few euros to pass a package supposed to be blocked at customs?
"Today, these crooks are more of a crowd," analyzes the researcher.
Stealing 3 or 4 euros from a hundred times more people than robbing someone's account.
" Result :
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