The French Interior Ministry has issued orders to the prefects not to communicate to the media the crime statistics for the nights of July 13-15. The cartoon at the top shows Marianne, the woman symbolizing the French Republic, watching the "official" weather report, “More sun tomorrow” it says, as it pours outside. Le Monde has a long article about the news blackout:
[...] Only the figures for the night of July 13-14 were published: "Some 500 vehicles" were burned, the worst ever recorded for the eve of the national holiday. Despite repeated requests to the Interior Ministry, and the DGPN [similar to the FBI], no figures were forthcoming for the night of July 14-15. These orders have been strictly applied. The different prefectures contacted by Le Monde refused to respond, citing "ministerial instructions." Regional news media reported the same problem. The daily La Provence issued an unofficial report that was much less favorable than 2008: 41 cars and a day-care center in Marseilles burned. […]
Other local papers describe the same problems. In Reims, the daily L'Union denounces the attitude of the authorities: "Yesterday morning, every journalist who came, even for the smallest piece of news, to the firemen, or gendarmes or police, heard the same answer: 'No fires'. In fact, the truth is quite different. Some of those we questioned admitted under their breath: 'We cannot say anything about the fires. We have received orders." In Lyons, the daily Le Progrès reports the same blackout: "Orders not to speak on the radio were given to firemen, gendarmes and police."
In previous years the radio network Europe 1 had systematically called the prefectures to verify the official counts. On January 1, 2008, the DGPN reported 372 burnt cars for New Year's Eve vs 746 reported by Europe 1. Finally the ministry of the interior admitted that there had been 878 fires. "Instructions" given to the prefectures henceforth forbid this type of verification.