Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

A very deplorable tradition that was declining this year, burning only 874 vehicles.

Hundreds of empty, parked cars go up in flames every New Year’s Eve in France, set on fire by young partygoers, a very deplorable tradition that was declining this year, burning only 874 vehicles.

The number of cars that burned overnight has decreased compared to New Year’s Eve in 2019 when 1,316 vehicles went up in flames, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted on Saturday.

Fewer arson attacks have taken place due to a huge police presence in city streets this New Year’s Eve, which enforces law and order and restrictions on public gatherings and wears face masks as infections spread by the fast-spreading Omicron variant boom, he said.

There is no information on burnt cars last year due to a nationwide crash in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many countries, France sees cars being set on fire during the year for many reasons, including gangs hiding clues from their crimes and people making false insurance claims.

But car burning took a new step in France when it became a way to mark the coming of the New Year. The practice apparently began in earnest among youths – often in poor neighborhoods – in the 1990s in the region around Strasbourg in eastern France.

It also became a voice of protest during the fiery unrest by desperate youths of housing projects that hit France in the fall of 2005.

Police at the time counted 8,810 vehicles burned in less than three weeks.

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