"New Year's Eve celebration has always been a time of intense mobilization with drunk driving, fights, fireworks and burnt cars. Now, we also take into account the new terrorist threats "Said a police source.
During the weekend, 36,000 gendarmes and 52,600 police officers, including 4,000 CRS, will be mobilized in France, to which will be added 7,000 officials of the prefecture of police of Paris and the 7,000 soldiers of the operation Sentinel. At Christmas, 91,000 policemen and gendarmes were on deck.
"The fact that we are in school holidays has made it possible to reorient the staff that were mobilized on the schools on the stations, the airports, in all the places which also accommodate tourists", explained Friday the Minister of the Interior Bruno Le Roux, during a trip to Paris with his Defense colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Even if the threat is "always strong," said the Minister of the Interior, "we must, of course, visit our country, come and party": "the safety of our fellow citizens and tourists is perfectly assured."
A month and a half after the attacks of 13 November in Paris and Saint-Denis (130 deaths), the eve 2015 had been minimal in the capital. The one of 2016 looks more festive. For the pyrotechnic show on the Champs-Elysées at 23H30, between 400,000 and 600,000 people are expected.
Some 1,700 civil servants will be mobilized for the festivities of the Champs-Elysées and the surroundings, detailed Friday the prefect of police Michel Cadot before the press. The premises will also be secured by 1.7 km of gates, 24 heavy pads, five baffles and law enforcement vehicles.
A pre-screening will be carried out from 8 pm for the public by private agents of the city hall of Paris. The Christmas market will be closed at 18:00 and the Arc de Triomphe from 16:00. Police will circulate among the crowd and in the cafes.
'To remain vigilant'
Concrete blocks and barriers will be installed on the big gatherings" in France, warned the Directorate General of the National Police (DGPN), stressing that "the municipal police are also mobilized."
New measures were taken after the December 19th jihad attack in Berlin, where 12 people were killed on a Christmas market by a ram truck launched on the crowd. A similar procedure to that of the attack of Nice which had made 86 dead on 14 July on the promenade of the English, just after the fireworks - the security device deployed in the Mediterranean city for the national holiday had then Been at the heart of a lively controversy.
In Nice, 150 policemen will be mobilized Saturday evening with the support of the elite officers of the Raid, according to a police source confirming information of the Figaro. In Strasbourg they will be 350 policemen and 200 soldiers; In Toulouse, 200 police officers.
The Ministry of the Interior will activate the Police Operations Center on 31 December. "But we hope that it will not be necessary, it manages what is unusual, big events like attacks, not the all coming," says a police source.
In total, 1,300 policemen and gendarmes of the mobile forces, 1,700 policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, firefighters and city and associative personnel will be on deck on December 31, including 4,100 police officers in the prefecture Military operations of Sentinel Operation, 2,500 firefighters, 240 private and city security officers, municipal police officers and more than 350 members of relief associations to people.
The Prefect of Police of Paris asked to "remain vigilant and attentive" and "in the case of suspicious behavior, to call the 17 or the 112". "There have not been any specific alerts on Paris and the Paris region in recent days," however he tempers.