Homes in France at high burglary risk pre-Christmas

Houses are more likely to be broken into in the run up to Christmas, figures suggest

Homeowners and residents in France are being warned that houses are at particular risk of burglary and theft in the run up to Christmas.

According to home security agency, l’Observatoire de la Sécurité des Foyers, the number of burglaries increases by 18% in December, especially over the Christmas and New Year period.

This is due to people being outside the home frequently as they prepare for Christmas or attend end-of-year events and family celebrations.

Many homes are also full of Christmas presents and other treats at this time of year, and presents may often be “hidden away” in places that are particularly accessible to thieves, such as garden sheds or garages.

Burglars are more likely to target “fashionable” and “high-tech” present items, reports suggest. Apart from jewellery, the most-stolen presents include Apple iPhones and tablets, Sony Playstation consoles, and Samsung smartphones.

Computer headsets, Bluetooth wireless headphones, bags, and leather goods are also at high risk.

More than 680 burglaries were committed every day in France in 2017, the most recent figures show, and the larger the house, the more likely it is to be burgled.

The risk of a break-in rises by 25% for houses with a floor space of over 100m², and by 30% for those over 150m².

Burglars are said to be most likely to head for the master bedroom or the bathroom, as most people hide their valuables there.

According to security camera company Kiwatch, having an alarm clearly installed on your property is a key way to reduce the risk of theft.

If you are the victim of a burglary, you are advised not to touch anything, and to call the police or gendarmerie on the number 17 immediately.

Without moving anything, try to make a list of stolen items, and collect receipts, bills, photos or certificates proving your ownership and the objects’ value.

Most insurance companies will only begin to process a claim after 48 hours have passed, to give the police or gendarmerie chance to investigate.

Some will require you to have lodged an official complaint to the local police or gendarmerie, and may require a signature from them too.

You can begin this process online through the form at the website www.pre-plainte-en-ligne.gouv.fr, before taking it to be signed by the police or gendarmerie in person as an official complaint.

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