More than 100 arrests in Paris May Day riots

Demonstrators in Paris, France.
Demonstrators in Paris, France. Photo credit: Reuters

A total of 109 people were detained overnight for rioting during May Day protests in Paris, French authorities say.

In an interview to radio broadcaster France Inter, Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said that the riots took place despite the deployment of a larger contingent of police officers than previous years.

He added that it was difficult to prevent such incidents as France does not believe in cracking down on people's right to demonstrate.

Mr Delpuech said besides damage to property - several shops were looted and torched, as were half a dozen vehicles - one police officer and three demonstrators were injured in the clashes.

In an interview to public national television channel, France 2, Interior minister Gerard Collomb claimed that twice the number of radical protesters, identified as Black Blocs, had shown up from all over Europe than the around 600 the police had anticipated.

Mr Collomb said the violence was "inadmissible" and announced that security would be boosted for future demonstrations.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on an official visit to Australia, strongly condemned the violence and promised to punish the perpetrators.