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IN NUMBERS: The impact of riots and looting across France

The Local France
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IN NUMBERS: The impact of riots and looting across France
Burnt cars line the street at the foot of the Pablo Picasso estate in Nanterre, west of Paris on June 30, 2023 (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP)

From the cars torched to the value of damage to shops, plus arrests made and people injured - here is the latest totals from the rioting that gripped France for a week.


French media have warned that the damage from riots over the killing of Nahel M by a French police officer could exceed that of the 2005 riots, which flared for almost three weeks.


In the week following Nahel's death on June 27th, thousands of trash bins, cars, and buildings were set ablaze across France as people took to the streets, primarily in France's poorer and deprived neighbourhoods. 

Hear the team at The Local discussing all aspects of the recent riots in the latest episode of the Talking France podcast. Download here or listen on the link below



Tens of thousands of police officers have been mobilised during each night of rioting. On Thursday night, 40,000 police and gendarmes were mobilised, and this was raised to 45,000 over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday nights.


Approximately 10,000 trash bins have been set on fire across the country in almost one week of rioting. 



Cars, particularly those parked on the street, are often targeted during protests and mobilisations in France - like the Yellow Vest movement.

As of Sunday, 5,000 cars had been burned since the start of rioting in France. In comparison, over the course of three weeks worth of rioting in 2005, France saw approximately 10,000 cars burned. 


There have been 3,931 riot-related arrests, mostly on Friday and Saturday nights. The situation appeared to be calming, with 72 people arrested on Monday night and 16 on Tuesday night.

Of those, 380 have been remanded in custody - typically those accused of the most serious offences.


Contrary to the myths pushed by the far-right that the rioters were 'immigrants', 90 percent of those arrested were French nationals, according to the interior ministry.


At least 1,000 buildings have been burned or looted - from public buildings such as town halls and schools, to shops, banks and tabacs.

Police officers stand guard in front of a damaged fast food restaurant at the shopping mall Rosny 2 in Rosny-sous-Bois, in the eastern suburbs of Paris, on June 30, 2023 (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP)

Buildings such as mairies and police stations - which are seen as 'symbols of the state' have been targeted by arsonists and vandals. 

On Friday, in Montargis, located in the Loiret département in central France, three buildings were torched, including the Mirabeau pharmacy which collapsed due to the fire. As of Monday, approximately 250 police stations had also been targeted.

In addition to arson attacks, many shops have been targeted by looters who have smashed windows, trashed the interiors and stolen goods.  


France's ministry of interior reported that about 700 members of the security forces had been injured since the start of rioting, although no serious injuries have been reported.

It is not clear how many members of the public have been injured. In French Guiana, a man was killed by a stray bullet, which was reportedly fired by protesters, according to local authorities. An investigation has been opened.


French President Emmanuel Macron met with 220 mayors of towns affected by violence and rioting on Monday. 

The planned meeting follows an attack on the home of Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun of the town L'Haÿ-les-Roses, a southern suburb of Paris. The mayor himself had been staying in the town hall when rioters rammed a car into his house and set it on fire. Jeanbrun's wife and two children were able to escape through the garden. 


As of Friday, 30 buses in the greater Paris Île-de-France region had been burned or damaged. 12 of those buses were set on fire with Molotov cocktails on Thursday night at a bus depot in Aubervilliers, north of Paris. Another 14 buses were burned south-east of Paris, at a depot in Provins. 

A tram was also set alight, in eastern Lyon, amid rioting on Thursday night.

As a result, buses and trams across the country stopped running after 9pm, and over the weekend, in Marseille, buses stopped running at 7pm.


€1 billion

The business group Medef estimated that there could be more than €1 billion worth of damage to businesses. On top of that, regional public transport authorities for Paris estimated about €20 million in damage to the transport infrastructure.

In comparison, the 2005 riots saw €204 million worth of damage over three weeks. 

€1.3 million

As of Tuesday morning, this was total that had been donated to the family of the police officer who shot Nahel M, in a fundraiser on the website GoFundMe. The fundraiser was started by Jean Messiha, a French economist known for having far-right views and supporting Éric Zemmour’s campaign.

Meanwhile, the official fundraiser for Nahel's mother stood at approximately €350,000 on Tuesday morning. Politicians, such as France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, have spoken out against the fundraiser for the police officer, noting that it does not  help to "contribute to peace". 


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Kris 2023/07/04 04:48
Protest yes, however the needless destruction is appalling. Any sympathy for the reason for the protest, quickly dissipates with riots and needless destruction.

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