Macron vows to punish those behind NYE attack on police
Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 3rd January, 2018
Shocking video footage emerged of a policewoman being beaten on NYE
The policewoman was one of two officers attacked by a crowd of youths
Police were called to a party in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne
PARIS, France - After a shocking video emerged of a French policewoman being beaten up on New Year’s Eve - the French government vowed a crackdown on urban violence on Tuesday.
The shocking video showed one of the two officers being attacked by a crowd of youngsters after police were called to a party in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne.
The videos of the policewoman shows her writhing on the floor as she is kicked by the crowd.
It also showed revellers flipping over a car and the videos immediately went viral on social media.
The French President Emmanuel Macron described the assault as "a cowardly and criminal lynching.”
On Monday, the New Year’s Day, a third officer was beaten up while trying to inspect a stolen scooter inside a sprawling housing estate in the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois.
According to reports, over a thousand cars were burned across France on New Year's Eve, a ritual for youngsters living in deprived high-rise suburbs.
On Tuesday, the French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in an interview with Europe 1 radio, "This violent society cannot continue in the years to come. It must be stopped.”
The minister called the attacks against police "unacceptable.”
Officers were called to clear a crowd of three or four hundred people attempting to see in 2018 at a warehouse party in Champigny-sur-Marne.
The local security chief Jean-Yves Oses said the officers fired tear gas after "a group of particularly violent individuals laid into the police,” with revellers beating and kicking two officers.
While no one has been arrested for attacking the police so far, two people were detained on suspicion of vandalism.
On Tuesday, Macron vowed that the culprits would be "found and punished.”
According to interior ministry data, a total of 1,031 cars were torched across France as the country welcomed the New Year.
Last year, a total of 935 cars were torched on the New Year’s Eve - while arrests rose from 456 to 510.
According to Collomb, reforms were needed to improve lives in "pauperised, ghettoised" French suburbs, which have long suffered a reputation for violence and poverty.
Collomb added, "These are neighbourhoods that must change.”
Collomb’s statement comes ahead of new pilot schemes in local policing that is set to begin next month following a large-scale consultation with security forces.
Meanwhile, far-right leader Marine Le Pen blasted the “insecurity that sometimes comes close to that of urban guerillas" in tough neighbourhoods and urged reforms to laws governing police officers' right to self-defence.
In November last year, Macron set out a raft of policies to fight poverty in downtrodden districts after critics labelled him a "president of the rich" due to his generous tax cuts for high earners.
Since the nationwide riots in 2005, French police have suffered testy relations with youths in poor immigrant-heavy suburbs, after the riots were sparked by the death of two teenagers who were electrocuted while hiding from officers.
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