One in three French mayors victim of threats or insults, according to a study

The number is on the rise. More than one in three mayors say they have already been the victim of threats or insults, according to a study by Cevipof presented on Monday at the congress of mayors of France. According to the Sciences Po research center, which received responses from 3,700 mayors out of the approximately 35,000 in the country, 39% say they have received threats, verbal or written, i.e. 11 points more than in 2020. They are also 37% to mention insults or insults, up 8 points.

And 63.1% say they have been victims of “incivility”, a term encompassing realities ranging from rudeness to aggression, 10 points more than in 2020. “These figures, certainly declarative and therefore different from the complaints filed , confirm the growing difficulty of mayors in enforcing the law, but even more so in finding solutions to non-respect of authority,” writes Professor Martial Foucault, author of the study.

Soaring energy prices

On Wednesday, senators adopted a bill aimed at allowing associations of elected officials to bring civil action to support elected officials who are victims of attacks. Also questioned about the soaring energy prices, the mayors reported strong concern on this subject.

The most widely considered actions to deal with it are the reduction of public lighting and heating in public buildings.

Giving up on the energy transition

Mayors are less likely to consider reducing heating in schools and crèches (49%), reducing the use of municipal service vehicles (34%) or restricting the hours of sports equipment (30%).

Due to the impact of inflation on local finances, “the energy crisis produces another energy crisis”, notes Martial Foucault, 46% of mayors considering giving up energy transition projects for lack of budget. They are also 40% to consider giving up the recruitment of personnel, 33% wanting to cut back on road expenses and 18% considering increasing local taxes.

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