The area around the Champs-Elysees in central Paris has seen an alarming increase in violent crime, according to new figures on Monday which appear to confirm the declining reputation of the world's most famous avenue.
In its latest annual report, France's National Crime Observa-tory says that the number of personal assaults in the 8th arrondissement, which includes the Champs-Elysees, increased by 32 percent last year to more than 1,500.
The number of cases of violence without theft -- 450 -- was up 93 percent in the arrondissement, while reports of threatening behavior were up 48.7 percent. The increase was by the far the biggest in the city.
The statistics were released days after a senior police official warned that the Champs-Elysees has become a hub for violent crime, prostitution and racketeering.