Acts of physical or verbal violence against elected officials have increased by 32% in 2022, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior released on Wednesday by the Minister for Communities Dominique Faure, who wants to set up a “struggle cell” to confront the phenomenon.

Last year, 2,265 complaints and reports of verbal (threats, insults, contempt) or physical violence against elected officials were recorded, up 32% compared to 2021, according to these figures from feedback from the Ministry of Health. ‘Interior with the prefectural services. Among these reports, 160 concerned only physical violence, a slight decrease compared to 2021.

Fight cell

To respond to this increase, “an analysis and fight cell specifically dedicated to the fight against attacks on elected officials” will be created in the coming days, announced Dominique Faure in an interview with Paris Match.

Installed at the Ministry of the Interior, this unit “will be responsible for identifying these phenomena, analyzing each fact, to prevent them and respond to them in full coordination with the prefectures, the police, the gendarmerie and the prosecution services”, he said. -she adds. Faure also indicated that he wanted to “strengthen the penalties for those who harm elected officials”, so that the penalties incurred are similar to those committed for harming the police, the gendarmes or the firefighters.

New legal means

In February, the association of mayors of France (AMF) for its part announced a 15% increase in 2022 in outrages, threats and physical violence against mayors and municipal councillors.

A law promulgated on January 24 allows associations of elected officials, but also the National Assembly, the Senate, the European Parliament and local authorities to bring civil proceedings, a right previously reserved only for departmental associations of mayors. The Minister of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, published a circular in 2020 to better defend mayors who were victims of “contempt”, calling for a “systematic and rapid criminal response”.

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