Figures from the French judicial police reveal that the number of murders and attempted murders in the country has dramatically increased over the last 10 years. The statistics reveal that in 2009 France saw 1,767 victims of homicide and attempted homicide but that number jumped significantly to 3,168 by 2018 with professor of criminology Alain Bauer warning of the growing trend of violence, Le Figaro reports.
"Homicide is, by definition, the criterion for recognising violence in a society," Bauer said and added: "A deep movement back to physical violence is happening, especially in the West."
Frédéric Lagache of the police union Alliance Police Nationale agreed, saying: "Violence is democratising. Law enforcement is no longer scary. Today, for nothing, for a look, it turns to fists. Pulling out a gun has become commonplace."
Cities across France have seen a rise in violence, particularly surrounding the activities of criminal gangs in places like Marseille where a gang war that started at the beginning of 2019 has claimed the lives of 9 people so far.
In the span of just one week, France saw an attempted murder in L’Hay-les-Roses on September 2nd, a convicted criminal in Asnieres-sur-Seine shot dead on the 3rd, a suspected drug trafficker in Toulouse shot dead on the 4th and another man shot dead the same night in Clermont-Ferrand.
Last month, France’s Ministry of the Interior noted that murders had jumped by 16% from May 1st to July 1st compared to the previous 3-month period.
Many of the 248 murders that took place during the 3-month period are thought to be connected to gang-related activity including a shooting incident in Ollioules that saw a tourist killed as well.
Random acts of violence, known in France as "violences gratuites", have also become a major issue with a report from 2018 claiming that the country sees as many as 777 such random attacks per day.