French Gangs Celebrate New Year by Burning Cars
On New Year's Eve in France were set on fire 1.193 cars. This was stated in the official statistics released by the French Interior Ministry.
The burning of cars became a kind of competition among French youth gangs in recent years. Actions of vandalism most often occur on the New Year's night and on Bastille Day, a French national holiday.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that the number of cars set on fire this year is not decreased in comparison with the previous year. However, the number of arrests of violators is increased. On New Year's Eve to maintain the order on the streets were taken over fifty thousand police officers and gendarmes.
The previous government of President Nicolas Sarkozy has decided to cease data publication of burnt cars as it could encourage gangs to “compete” with each over. In 2009 - the last year of the data release - on New Year's Eve was set on fire 1.147 vehicles.
Due to rising social tensions in French society, the popularity of this type of protest is quite high.