A huge drop in armed robberies is providing welcome respite for French law enforcement.
The National Observatory of Crime and Criminal Responses reported on Wednesday, November 8, that the number of robberies committed with a firearm has fallen dramatically since 2009.
A study by the National Observatory of Delinquency and Criminal Responses (ONDRP) is the source of the figures. Documents provided by the Central Office for Combating Organised Crime (OCLCO) reveal that the number of robberies committed by means of a firearm, particularly against commercial targets, collapsed nearly 60 percent since 2009, the equivalent of about 4,000 fewer victims.
Armed robberies overall have fallen, but the main beneficiaries are tobacconists, petrol stations and other retail outlets.
Criminologists have suggested that the fall in armed robberies is in part explained by the cashless society and the use of debit cards.
Jewellers have also benefited, with a drop in armed robberies from 359 in 2011 to just 45 in 2016. Heightened and more sophisticated security measures have also helped, the experts say. They cite the marking of cash and merchandise, more CCTV and SMS alerts as further reasons for the drop.