An evening under heavy surveillance. More than 90,000 police and gendarmes, as well as 5,000 soldiers from Operation Sentinelle, will be mobilised on Sunday to secure the transition to the new year, including 6,000 police forces in Paris, Gérald Darmanin announced on Friday (December 29th).

During a press briefing at the Paris police prefecture, the interior minister said: "in a context of very high terrorist threat due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine", that "73 units of mobile forces including four units of the new CRS8" were part of the system, as well as helicopters.

For the night of 31 December, an exceptional system will be put in place, including 90,000 police and gendarmes, 35,000 firefighters and 5,000 Sentinel soldiers. Thank you to them for their mobilization and for this night of work away from their families.

— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) December 29, 2023

In Paris, where there are more festivities than last year to kick off the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the sale and consumption of alcohol will be banned in certain areas.

The festivities in the capital will begin at 18 p.m. and end around 0:30 a.m., police prefect Laurent Nuñez said.

"Protest demonstrations will be banned," he said. To access the perimeter of the festivities, spectators will be searched, he said, adding that "within this perimeter, the sale of objects that can be used as weapons by destination [knives, for example] will be prohibited."

Authorities expect an influx of 700,000 to a million people on the Champs-Élysées, and more than 1.5 million spectators in total in the capital. Giant screens will be set up from the Place de la Concorde to the top of the Champs-Élysées.

Drones will also be deployed.

The prefect of police stressed that the forces of law and order would be required, depending on the circumstances, to be deployed throughout the Paris metropolitan area (Paris and the inner suburbs).

The minister also welcomed the fact that seizures of mortars had increased by "45%" compared to the same period last year.

In a context of significant terrorist risk, he also recalled that the intelligence services were fully mobilized.

With AFP

This week's recapFrance 24 invites you to look back on the news that marked the week

Subscribe now

Take international news with you wherever you go! Download the France 24 app