Cases of sexual violence, physical assault and domestic abuse continued to rise sharply across France last year, according to the latest report by the Ministry of the Interior.
Provisional statistics for 2021 released on Thursday and published in French daily Les Echos show a staggering 32 percent increase in the number of victims reporting rape or attempted rape, and a 33 percent increase in sexual harassment cases on 2020 – a total of 75,800 cases of sexual violence were reported to French authorities in 2021.
Reporting of domestic violence also saw a considerable rise last year, increasing by 14 percent on the previous year, while victims reporting physical assault increase by 12 percent.
The number of homicides also rose by 4 percent, with 1,026 cases compared to 983 in 2020.
The Ministerial Statistical Service for Homeland Security (SSMSI) reported a 5 percent increase in non-violent thefts for 2021, once again on the rise after a 24 percent drop in 2020, which had been primarily attributed to Covid-19 social restrictions. Thefts from vehicles also rose marginally by 1 percent, while violent theft saw a fall in the number of cases reported, down 2 percent.
Use of trafficking of narcotics jumped by 38 percent with the number of traffickers arrested by French authorities also increasing by 13 percent, and the number of scams recorded by the French public also rose considerably in 2020’s reporting, up 15 percent.
The topic is likely to spark debate among France’s presidential candidates ahead of April’s election, giving fresh ammunition to government opponents wanting to oust Emmanuel Macron.
Speaking this morning on French news channel, CNews, firebrand nationalist Marine Le Pen described the security situation in France as “out of control,” placing the blame firmly at the door of President Macron and Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin
“Security must be a priority, the public space cannot be a space of fear,” she added.