Burning cars on New Year’s

Hundreds of parked and empty cars are set ablaze every New Year’s Eve in France by young people celebrating, a loathsome tradition that appears to have diminished this year when “only” 874 cars were discovered burning.

The Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanen, explained that the number of cars set on fire at night with the ringing of the New Year’s bells was less compared to the case on January 1, 2019, when 1,316 cars were set on fire.

He added that the decrease in arson attacks is due to the large police presence during New Year’s Eve celebrations on city streets, law enforcement monitoring, restrictions on public gatherings and the use of masks amid an increase in infections due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. .

There is no information on vehicles that were burned last year due to the national lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Like many countries, vehicles are burned in France throughout the year for many reasons, including gangs hiding traces of their crimes and people making false claims to insurance companies.

However, burning cars went to another level in France when it became an unfortunate way to celebrate the coming of the New Year. The practice reportedly started strongly among young people, often in poor neighborhoods, in the 1990s in the region around Strasbourg in eastern France.

It also became a form of protest during violent riots by young people from apartment complexes across the country during the fall of 2005. At the time, police counted 8,810 cars burned in less than three weeks.

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