France grapples with summer boom in burglaries

People are advised to join police home-monitoring scheme when going on holiday

A man wearing black with a crowbar getting into a house - France's burglaries spike in summer
Around a quarter of the annual police interventions for burglaries take place in June and July, figures show
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The number of burglaries recorded in France increased dramatically in 2023, according to figures from the Interior Ministry, which advises people to join a police home-monitoring scheme when they go away.

More than 220,000 burglaries were reported in 2023, which comes to 600 a day or the equivalent of one every three minutes. This represents a 14% rise on 2022 figures.

Another report released in February showed that Gironde and Bouches-du-Rhône were the worst-hit departments for burglaries in 2023, while Creuse and Corrèze were the least affected.

Read also: National burglary figures: How does your area of France fare? 

Read also: Burglaries in rural France: areas most at risk and tips to avoid 

Summer months particularly risky

France’s rate of summer-holiday burglaries is particularly high: a quarter of the annual total happens in July and August, according to the Interior Ministry figures. In most countries the rate of summer burglaries is around 20%.

This spike comes as holidaymakers leave their homes empty when they go away during the school holidays in July and August.

Read also: What to do (and not to do) after a home burglary in France 

The police are on especially high alert in Paris ahead of the Olympic Games - which runs from July 26 until August 11 - as many residents are set to leave the capital to escape the crowds during the event.

Free police scheme

Police in France offer a holiday scheme to help keep your home safe while you are away, called l'opération tranquillité vacances (OTV).

You can sign up for the free service online (giving at least three days’ notice), on the Service-Public website, and local officers will “take charge of monitoring your home”, it states, with “patrols organised to pass by your home”. 

Read also: Reader experiences: Dealing with a burglary at second home in France 

Police will keep an eye out at your property, and will report or investigate anything that looks suspicious, including damage or any signs of a break-in.