Foreigners Behind 80 Per Cent of Violent Theft 62 Per Cent of Sexual violence on Paris Transit

An empty Paris Metro carriage in the early morning
Getty Images

In 2020, non-French migrants were accused of being behind 80 per cent of the violent thefts on the Paris region public transit system and 62 per cent of the acts of sexual violence.

The figures released by the French Interior ministry show the backgrounds of those accused of various crimes on public transit systems in the Ille-de-France region, as well as the rest of the country.

In the Ille-de-France region, which includes the city of Paris and its various suburbs, French nationals made up just 20 per cent of those accused of robbery with violence on public transit, while foreigners made up 80 per cent, the largest number, 61 per cent, coming from the North African region.

For thefts without violence, such as pickpocketing, French nationals were even lower at just eight per cent of those accused, while foreigners made up 92 per cent, with North Africans again being the single largest group at 59 per cent.

In terms of those accused of sexual violence aboard public transit in the Paris region, French nationals represented 38 per cent of those accused, while foreigners accounted for 62 per cent, with sub-Saharan Africans being the largest represented group among foreigners at 23 per cent.

The figures come just over three years since a Paris police officer admitted in 2018 that the majority of sex attackers on the Paris metro system were migrants from North African backgrounds.

Figures from the rest of France outside of the Paris region showed French-born suspects the vast majority in all crimes on public transit except for thefts without violence, where North Africans accounted for 43 per cent, or nearly half.

Violence, including sexual violence, has been a rising problem on the Patis public transit system for several years, with a 2019 report noting that sexual assaults had risen by 30 per cent in 2018 compared to the prior year, with over 1,000 cases reported.

The Paris Region Planning and Development Agency (IAU) produced and released a study in 2017 that showed over half, or 56 per cent, of the women in the Paris region, were afraid to use public transit due to cases of sex attacks and thefts.

The French government statistics release reveals the total number of crimes of all kinds fell last year — the number of passengers having fallen, given the Coronavirus lockdowns — and cited the exploitation of migrants by criminal gangs as a potential cause of the disproportionate statistics of presumed migrant criminals on transit.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.