9 Mar 2018

Protest over lawlessness in New Caledonia

10:31 am on 9 March 2018

Several hundred people have taken to the streets of New Caledonia's capital to protest against general insecurity.

French police officers in New Caledonia.

French police officers in New Caledonia. Photo: AFP

In the face of more crime in recent times, the demonstrators, who were reportedly mainly shopkeepers dressed in black, joined a march in Noumea to express their exasperation over lawlessness.

Official figures showed over the past year, recorded crime had increased by almost 30 percent.

While burglaries of private homes have declined, there has been a sharp increase in the number of break-ins in businesses, mainly to steal alcohol and tobacco products.

Half of the crimes are reportedly committed by minors.

Noumea alone accounted for about a fifth of all arrests for public drunkenness in all of France.

Twenty percent more police officers per capita have been deployed in New Caledonia than in the rest of France.

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