World

France heightens New Year’s Eve security, with 90,000 police officers mobilised

Six thousand of those officers will be based in Paris.

Security will be tight across France on New Year’s Eve (AP)
French police Security will be tight across France on New Year’s Eve (AP) (Thibault Camus/AP)

Security will be tight across France on New Year’s Eve, with 90,000 law enforcement officers set to be deployed, domestic intelligence chief Celine Berthon has said.

Of those, 6,000 will be in Paris, where French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said more than 1.5 million people are expected to attend celebrations on the Champs-Elysees.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Darmanin cited a “very high terrorist threat” because, in part, of “what is happening in Israel and Palestine”.

Mr Darmanin said that police for the first time will be able to use drones as part of security work, and that tens of thousands of firefighters and 5,000 soldiers would also be deployed.

Police officers patrol near the Eiffel Tower (AP)
French security Police officers patrol near the Eiffel Tower (AP) (Christophe Ena/AP)

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Paris will centre on the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, including DJ sets, fireworks and video projections on the Arc de Triomphe.

The security challenge ahead of the Olympics was highlighted when a tourist was killed in a knife attack near the Eiffel Tower on December 2.

Large-scale attacks – such as that at the Bataclan in 2015, when Islamic extremists invaded the music hall and shot up cafe terraces, killing 130 people – also loom in memory.

The knife attack raised concern in France and abroad about security for the Games that begin on July 26, in just under seven months.

But law enforcement officials appear eager to show off a security-ready Paris.