How police keep your home safe during your holiday
The Opération Tranquillité Vacances service from the French police or gendarmerie has swung back into action, and you can easily make use of it if you’re going on holiday over the summer.
Every year, the local police and gendarmeries offer a free service to watch over your house during their rounds. This helps to prevent burglary, which is said to be especially likely in the months of July and August, according to the ONDRP (l'Observatoire de la délinquance et réponses pénales).
The service will keep watch over your property every day that you are away, including during the evening and weekends.
Arranging protection is straightforward.
Simply take a form of identification and proof of address (such as an electricity bill) to your police commissariat or gendarmerie brigade for your area, and fill in a form requesting the service, named Demande individuelle Opération Tranquillité vacances. There is a separate form for Paris, and another for houseboats.
In some departments, you can fill in the form online. In Paris, you must give at least five days’ notice ahead of your departure date, and elsewhere at least 48 hours’ notice.
The police advise homeowners to be vigilant even if they have the service in place, however, and recommend that holidaymakers should:
- Close all their windows and shutters before leaving
- Not let their post build up in their letterbox for too long (perhaps ask a neighbour to pick it up if necessary)
- Make sure there are no precious jewellery, objects, or large sums of money left in the house