MAJOR MAINTENANCE – In Confronting violence in France (L’Artilleur), Dr Maurice Berger, child psychiatrist working with ultraviolent young people but also with victims of aggression, analyzes the root causes of insecurity in France and proposes concrete solutions to contain it.
THE FIGARO MAGAZINE. – Insecurity is in the news to the point that many observers speak of France as a “Mechanical Orange” or “wildness”. Has violence been structural in France for decades or has it exploded in recent years?
Maurice BERGER. – Yes, violence is exploding quantitatively and qualitatively. Those who persist in denying it select the figures that suit them, but the number of attacks by doctors has doubled in ten years, assault and battery went from 222,800 in 2017 to 260,400 in 2019. The homicide curve is winding, but the number of homicide attempts increased from 2,400 in 2018 to 3,600 in 2020. The proportion of minors who attempted homicide increased from 3% in 2016 to 7 in 2019.
Both victims and attackers are sometimes very young and the police are increasingly targeted. Has the nature of violence changed?
I work as a child psychiatrist in a reinforced educational center which receives
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