A New Caledonian politician has asked France whether it could allow curfews to be declared for minors to fight lawlessness.
The issue has been raised in the French National Assembly by New Caledonia's Philippe Dunoyer who said despite the best efforts of the police, discontent and anger were growing over crime.
He said no week goes by without a school being ransacked, a supermarket vandalised and a service station robbed.
Mr Dunoyer has asked the interior minister whether he could give New Caledonia's mayors the power to declare curfews for minors who account for about quarter of the offending.
The minister Gerard Colomb said there was a need for more cooperation with New Caledonian representatives to be able to restore order and find the cause of the phenomenon.