Majority of Paris street rapes committed by foreign nationals, data reveals

Police records show 77% of arrested suspects in 2023 were foreigners as authorities grapple with security concerns ahead of the Olympics.

Majority of Paris street rapes committed by foreign nationals, data reveals
AP Photo/Nicolas Garriga
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More than three-quarters of rapes committed on the streets of Paris last year were perpetrated by foreign nationals, according to data released by French authorities. 

Local outlet Europe 1 reported that out of the 97 rapes recorded in public spaces in France's capital in 2023, only 30 cases have been solved, and only slightly over a third of the perpetrators have been arrested.

Police records indicate that of the 36 individuals arrested, a staggering 28 (77%) were of foreign nationality. The crimes were primarily committed at night, in tourist hotspots, and near "points de deal" — areas known for drug trafficking. Disturbingly, 20 of the rapists were already known to the police, while four others had been on authorities' radar for other sex offenses, GB News reports.

Europe 1 noted that the crimes were "mainly" committed by men, most of whom were addicted to drugs, homeless, or unemployed. The number of crimes has risen by 2% since 2022, continuing a near-constant rate of increase since 2018.

Grégory Joron, the general secretary of police union Unite SGP Police-Force Ouvriere, lamented the sex offenses in Paris as a "phenomenon that we cannot extinguish," emphasizing the need for heightened security measures as the city prepares to host the Olympic Games this year.

Authorities have launched a large-scale crackdown ahead of the Olympics, with police introducing the "Place Nette XXL" operation last month, aimed at combating drug-related crimes and enhancing overall security. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin stressed the importance of the fight against drugs, calling it "a fight for society."

Alongside efforts to curb drug-related crimes, France has also taken steps to address terrorist threats in recent months. Following the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced an increase in the country's terror threat level to "attack emergency."

As a result of these security concerns, the Olympics' opening ceremony, originally planned to take place on the River Seine, has been scaled back. 

A senior French interior ministry official revealed that President Emmanuel Macron had demanded halving the number of spectators from 600,000 due to crowd control and security issues. The official identified the "main threat" to the games as "Islamist terrorism," although French intelligence has not yet identified specific plots, and groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda currently lack the financial capacity to carry out attacks in France.

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