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NEW YEAR

France to deploy 100,000 police officers to keep peace on New Year’s Eve

Around 100,000 police officers will be on duty across France on New Year's Eve, the government announced on Monday. The end of year is often marked by outbreaks of trouble which include the ritual of burning cars.

France to deploy 100,000 police officers to keep peace on New Year's Eve
AFP

The interior minister Christophe Castaner announced on Monday that there would be 100,000 police and gendarmes deployed on New Year's Eve across the country.

That number is down on last New Year's Eve when 148,000 officers were out on duty for the end of year celebrations that followed weeks of violence during yellow vest protests.

France also remains on high alert for terror attacks after a series of deadly incidents in recent years.

Castaner said however that authorities had not identified any particular threat but that there remains a “high level of risk” in France.

“We must remain vigilant, notably with the terrorism risk which remains at a high level,” he said.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) night there will be 100,000 police and gendarmes mobilised throughout the country,” the interior minister said.

“There will also be reinforcements from soldiers and by firefighters who will also de deployed.

“There is no New Year's truce, in fact there can often be moments of tension when there are gatherings and our forces of law and order will be present,” Castaner said.

The minister said officers will be out in force on France's roads on a night that is traditionally one of the most deadly in terms of road deaths.

On average between 15 and 20 people are killed on the roads in France each New Year's Eve, although that number has fallen from around 40 in the early 2000s.

In Paris only two Metro lines (Line 1 and 14) will function on New Year's Eve due to the ongoing strike and they will stop running at 2.15am. Several Metro stations on Line 1 around the Champs-Elysées area will be closed on New Year's Eve: Charles de Gaulle – Etoile, George V, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau.

Each year some 300,000 people normally gather on the Champs-Elysées to take in the New Year but those number may be well down given the transport strikes.

Police will set up a security cordon in the streets leading to Champs-Elysées. Revellers may be subject to searches with glass bottles, firecrackers and fireworks all banned.

Any spontaneous yellow vest protests and gatherings are banned in certain parts of the city including Place de la Republique.

Police will also be out in force around the Trocadéro – Champ-de-Mars – Tour Eiffel area where traditionally large numbers of people gather even though there is not festive event organised this year.

 

Police and firefighters will no doubt also be called out to reports of burning cars, which has become somewhat of a tradition in certain French cities and neighbourhoods (see link below).

READ MORE: Why are hundreds of cars burned in France on New Year's Eve?

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NEW YEAR

IN PICS: Paris brings in the 2020s with New Year light show

Close to 250,000 revellers descended on Paris to celebrate the New Year, accompanied by lavish fireworks and a light display projected onto L'arc de Triomphe. Bonne année et bonne santé!

IN PICS: Paris brings in the 2020s with New Year light show
A beam of light shoots into the night sky over L'Arc de Triomphe. Photo: AFP
Fireworks burst out over the famed Champs Elysées avenue bringing a glorious finale to a night when a heavy police presence kept Yellow Vest protesters largely under control. 
 

 

The emergency services began preparing early, setting up an operations centre near the centre of the celebrations. There were more than 100,000 police officers on duty. 

Photo: AFP

The Yellow Vests protestors were also organised. Here is a group below watching President Emmanuel Macron's New Year's address from a tent. 

Photo: AFP

Many revellers arrived early in the city centre to pose for photographs in front of the Eiffel Tower ahead of the festivities.  
 

Photo: AFP

By early evening, crowds were thronging along the Champs-Elysées. Close to 250,000 people came along for the party.  
 

Photo: AFP

In the build-up to the New Year's finale, they were treated to 'Fraternité', a light show projected onto L'Arc de Triomphe. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed 70 years ago, was projected onto the building. 

Photo: AFP

The Fraternité display turned the iconic structure into a St Peter's Basilica in the Kremlin, Moscow…
 

Photo: AFP

…and also to the Forbidden City in Beijing.
 

Photo: AFP

There were some small confrontations between police and Yellow Vest protestors, but largely the celebrations were peaceful. 

Photo: AFP

Revellers posed for selfies on a packed Champs-Elysées as the countdown to 2020 began. At 23.20pm, the music of the legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin began booming out.  

Photo: AFP

And that brings an end to the coverage of the festivities. Bonne Année to all!

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