A British woman was sexually assaulted while urinating in the bush near the Eiffel Tower
French police say a lack of toilets and lighting makes it easier for criminals to assault tourists around the Eiffel Tower, after a British policewoman on holiday in Paris said she was sexually assaulted while urinating.
The 23-year-old, whose name has not been revealed, claimed she was sexually assaulted late Monday evening in the Champs de Mars, the park surrounding Paris’s most famous monument.
The attacker pounced after going behind a bush to relieve herself. The policewoman said that she was only separated from her friend for a few moments when a man threatened her with a knife. She said she then suffered “digital hacking” and sexual assault.
Talking to Le ParisienA police source said that the local authorities’ decision to leave the Champs-de-Mars devoid of lighting and toilets for environmental reasons conflicts with safety.
“It is indeed a place where sometimes there are people who take advantage of the drunkenness of some women to commit crimes Sexual assaults Or worse,” the police source told Al-Asimah daily newspaper.
“We are doing our best to secure the sector by increasing patrols but the area is very large. It is not just about the police. Perhaps urban development should be considered,” they added.
“Darkness or near-darkness makes it easier (for criminals) to act. There may be environmental issues behind the decision, but from a simple security point of view, light can discourage attackers.”
The officer, who the newspaper said had been working in the Eiffel Tower area for a long time, said the lack of toilets was another problem.
“The question our teams are asked most often is: ‘Where are the toilets?’ There are some but perhaps not enough. The result is that drunk people go and urinate out of sight. The officer was quoted as saying: ‘When a woman is drunk, you “Find yourself in a vulnerable position within seconds.”
Police arrested a 35-year-old man about an hour after the woman reported the attack Monday night and provided a description of the suspect. He was detained.
A tourist from Mexico reported that she was raped in the same park. The 27-year-old told authorities that the attack occurred in the early hours of July 27.
A local resident, Bernard, told Europe 1 Radio that the Champs de Mars had become a “battlefield full of merchants”. “I no longer walk home after 6pm. I am very afraid of being assaulted,” he said.
Nathalie, a shop owner, said that local authorities should make the decision to “close the park at night,” as they did in the Luxembourg Gardens.
The Champs-de-Mars, a large park extending from the Eiffel Tower and popular with tourists and locals, will play a major role in the event. 2024 Summer OlympicsWhen beach volleyball is held in the tower.
Judo and wrestling matches are also scheduled to be held in the temporary arena Champ-de-Mars. Unlike most Parisian parks, which close at night, Champ-de-Mars is open 24 hours a day.