Almost all crimes across France rose last year: vehicle theft up 30%, sexual offenses up 11%

Riot police charge during a demonstration against plans to push back France's retirement age, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

France recorded significantly higher levels of crime across the board last year with burglaries, thefts, and sexual offenses all rising by double figures, according to data published by the French Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday.

“Almost all the indicators of recorded delinquency were up in 2022 compared to the previous year,” the ministry noted alongside the crime stats.

Theft from vehicles across the country skyrocketed by almost a third (30.3 percent). Domestic abuse was up by 16.9 percent, robberies were up 13.7 percent, and sexual offenses and burglaries rose by 11.4 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.

Authorities recorded 948 homicides last year, up 7.8 percent over 2021, while 249,811 drug-related offenses were recorded, up 12.9 percent.

There was a total of 459,840 cases of fraud committed, up 7.2 percent, and drug trafficking crimes rose by 3.9 percent.

Violent robberies without a weapon were the only category of crime to fall last year, decreasing by 3.9 percent.

According to the available figures, while the trend was observed everywhere in France, some departments contributed particularly to the increase, in particular, “the Bouches-du-Rhône for the rise in vehicle theft and the North for the increase of vehicle accessory theft,” noted the interior ministry.

French Ministry of Justice statistics published late last year revealed French prisons have reached record levels of inmates, with more than 72,000 convicts behind bars, 20 percent over the country’s official prison capacity of 60,700 places.

The country’s justice department sought to resolve the issue of overcrowding by reducing the sentences of less than two years by three months, essentially granting them early release.

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The policy, which took effect from Jan. 1 this year, enraged French magistrates concerned about repeat offenders, who insisted they hand down the sentences they do for good reason.

Government data published in March last year showed a quarter of France’s prison population is comprised of foreign nationals, costing the French taxpayer more than €700 million every year.

In an interview in October last year, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed half of crimes across the country are committed by “foreigners in an irregular situation or awaiting asylum approval.”

Despite the revelation, the French president refused to acknowledge an “existential” link between immigration and insecurity.

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