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Holiday-home burglaries soar

Gendarmerie figures show break-ins up 17.7% on 2013 despite increased police cover

BURGLARIES in second homes soared last year with break-ins at rural properties up 17.7% and those in urban areas up 10%.

Figures by the ONDRP crime statistics agency showed break-ins overall had risen but that second homes had been heavily targeted – despite increasing efforts by police and the gendarmerie to provide extra protection.

The difference between second homes and main homes was startling: with rural inhabited properties seeing a 1.3% rise in burglaries and inhabited urban properties up 7%. Overall, there was a 4.7% rise in raids in rural areas – those policed by the gendarmerie – and 6.4% in urban areas, covered by the Police Nationale.

After an alarming increase in 2011, where burglaries rose 17% overall, and in 2012 where burglaries rose 8.5%% (with one happening every 90 seconds, see our article - Burglaries every 90 seconds) Interior Minister Manuel Valls had made cutting the number of raids one of the priorities for 2013.

He increased police cover in a bid to stop break-ins, which he had said were largely organised by eastern European gangs, and later admitted that there had been an “explosion” in house raids since 2010.

Owners of empty or holiday properties can ask the police or gendarmerie to make regular checks on their homes during the summer. The cover is organised through a scheme called Opération Tranquillité Vacances. For other ways to protect yourself, see these pages
Protect your homes from burglaries
Close shutters when on holiday

To get details of Opération Tranquillité Vacances, see the Gendarmerie Nationale website (in French) which has a form to fill in to ask for cover.

Armed thefts were down for the fourth year (-0.3% for the police and -5.7% in gendarmerie areas) although murders, which had fallen in 2012, were up 14.9% in gendarmerie zones although down 4.2% in urban areas.

This is the second year that figures for the police and gendarmerie have been separated out, to give a more accurate picture.
Photo: Sirpa Gendarmerie Nationale

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