Murders in France fall to ‘lowest ever level’

Murders in France fall to 'lowest ever level'
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, being transported by members of France's gendarmerie in December 2012. Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP
Murder rates in France have dropped to their lowest level in history, Interior Minister Manuel Valls declared on Friday.

Revealing figures gathered by the French national supervisory body on crime and punishment (ONDRP), Valls said that the number of homicides recorded in the country for the year 2012 represented "the lowest ever".

Within France's urban 'police zone', the observatory recorded 430 murders, a 2.3 percent drop from 2011 and in the more rural 'gendarmerie zone,' 235 murders were recorded – a 22.4 percent drop compared to last year. 

By contrast, the number of burglaries recorded in 2012 was up by 14.7 percent in the cities, and by 4.7 percent in the rest of France. 

Speaking at a press conference on French TV channel TF1, Valls declared, "I am going to take on these figures, and confront the reality of crime."  

Crime figures have been a recent source of controversy in France. In December 2012, the right-leaning Le Figaro published a series of articles attacking President Francois Hollande's Socialist government for its ability to tackle crime after figures for the month of November revealed a steep rise in violent offenses. Valls hit back however claiming the figures had been manipulated and were not a true reflection of the level of crime in France.

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