Physical assaults against firefighters, emergency personnel, and police officers in France are becoming more and more common, with French media describing it as “the new normal.”
According to a report by The Local France, since 2017, assaults against fire personnel have increased by 23 percent.
Over the weekend, France saw several violent attacks carried out against firefighters.
After being called to a scene in Noisy-le-Roi, firefighters were attacked by a 15-year-old after they responded to a call from his mother who suspected he had overdosed on drugs or alcohol.
“When they arrived, the teenager threatened to ‘snuff them.’ He kept on punching and kneeing the firefighters until they managed to control him. Two of the three men had cuts and bruises on their faces – they will be unable to work for six and 10 days respectively,” the Local reports.
In Aix-en-Provence, while attempting to resuscitate an 80-year-old man in the Jas-de-Bouffan neighborhood, emergency services had their vehicle stolen and destroyed. Emergency services found the vehicle not far from the scene smashed between a wall and another car. One side of the car had been completely ripped off.
In Corsica, a firefighter was attacked by an injured man who he was trying to help. Although the call began normally, the injured man suddenly became violent and punched one of the responders, a 52-year-old firefighter, in the face. The firefighter suffered injuries which required six stitches and resulted in him missing eight days of work.
“The population is being abandoned,” André Goretti, the president of the firefighters union in France told Franceinfo.
“Emergency services cannot meet people’s needs anymore and firefighters are the last link in this chain,” Goretti continued, adding “We are totally abandoned by those who govern us and those who employ us.”
Violent gang attacks against French police officers are also on the rise.
In July, in the notorious Seine-Saint-Denis ‘no-go’ suburb of Paris, police were attacked by somewhere around 20 “hostile individuals who had obviously prepared their act”. Just a few days earlier, a local police station in the department of Eure in northern France was besieged by a group of 15 to 30 young hooded Muslims who launched projectiles and fireworks, while shouting the two words ‘Allahu Akbar’