An assault every 44 seconds, really?
This Thursday morning, Stanislas Rigault, the spokesperson for Reconquête!, said on Franceinfo that “today in France there is an attack every 44 seconds”. Eric Zemmour’s support is not the only one to mention this figure. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Jordan Bardella or Marine Le Pen have already done so in the past. It is however misleading.
In an INSEE survey conducted in 2018, “710,000 people aged 14 or over (i.e. 1.4%) declared having been victims of physical violence, committed outside the situation of theft or attempted theft, and by one (or more) person(s) not living with them”, or 44 per second. Which does not quite mean that an attack is committed in France every 44 seconds.
Firstly, because assaults are not limited to physical violence, excluding theft, attempted theft and non-domestic violence. But also because the INSEE survey is based on a questionnaire, and not on the filing of complaints in the police and gendarmerie. In other words, there is nothing to verify that 710,000 people were actually victims of this violence.
According to a document published by the Ministry of the Interior on Thursday (Insecurity and delinquency in 2021: a first photograph), 149,200 acts of intentional assault excluding intra-family violence were recorded in 2021, i.e. one every three and a half minutes.