Unfortunately, this scenario occurs far too frequently in France – with around 645 burglaries per day, according to Le Figaro.
How many burglaries are reported in France each year?
Indeed, the latest figures published by the Ministry of the Interior showed that 601,000 thefts had been reported in 2019. More than 90% of crimes took place in main residences, with 44,000 thefts recorded in second homes.
These numbers have increased dramatically year on year over the past decade, with 386,000 thefts and attempted thefts reported in 2008, for example. The burglary figures in England and Wales during the same period show a considerable drop. In 2002/2003 there were 890,099 burglaries while last year that number had fallen to 267,931, according to statista.com.
Overall, robberies in the EU are on the decline, with an overall drop of 11% between 2016 and 2019.
When and where does property theft typically occur?
The latest statistics published by the French Ministry of the Interior also reveal that nearly one in three burglaries takes place during the summer (29%). But beware, thieves are active all year round, with 12% of thefts recorded last December.
Surprisingly, thefts are more numerous in France in urban areas than in the countryside, residents of towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants having the highest rate of burglaries per person.
What are burglars looking for?
Figures show that between 2016 and 2019, 45% of burglary victims reported jewelry theft. Meanwhile, 24% said money was stolen and one in five victims said thieves took computer equipment, game consoles and cameras.
7 essential things to do in the event of a burglary
1. Call the police
The sooner you call the police, the greater the chance that the burglar will be arrested. The correct number for this service is 17 or 112. The number 17 will direct you to the appropriate emergency police service closest to your home, which can be either the National Police if you live in an urban area or the National Gendarmerie if you live in the countryside. Meanwhile, 112 is a European emergency services number for fire and rescue, police and ambulance services.
2. Don’t touch anything
It is important that you do not touch anything that could be used as forensic evidence against burglars. For example, there may be fingerprints or vital footprints on your doors and floors, so no matter how messy your home is, don’t be tempted to clean up until the police arrive.
3. File a police report
Once the police have come to your property, you can file a complaint and the police investigation can then begin. Once you have filed the complaint, you will receive a receipt, which will be needed to make your insurance claim.
To save time, victims can file a complaint online here.
Once this is done, you need to go to the nearest police station to sign the document and collect the receipt. It cannot be done online.
4. Notify the bank
If your bank cards, checkbook or other means of payment are stolen, you are advised to cancel them with your bank. Whatever your banking company, you can call the number 0 892 705 705, which offers an immediate payment blocking service on your bank cards, or 0 892 68 32 08 which blocks payment on checks.
5. Secure your home
After the police have passed, be sure to fix any broken windows, doors, or locks so that timely thieves cannot return. To do this, you may need to hire a locksmith (a locksmith), many local businesses of which you can find on the internet. To make sure you use a trusted locksmith, it is advisable to check with your friends, neighbors, or even your insurance company, which will have a list of reputable companies to contact.
6. Call your insurers within 2 days
Most insurance policies stipulate in their general conditions that “the theft must be declared at the latest within two working days following the date on which the insured became aware of the loss, any late declaration, except in fortuitous circumstances or force majeure, may result in forfeiture of coverage. “
According to the government website www.service-public.fr, this declaration must be made by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
In the declaration, you must list all stolen or damaged items and indicate their value. This will be used to gauge how much money you are receiving. If you do not agree with the expert’s assessment, it is possible to call on an expert of your choice to carry out a second opinion.
Insurers will also need to see a copy of the initial violation report filed with the police.
7. Notify your landlord or property management agent
If you live in a rented property or own an apartment in a building owned and managed by a real estate agent, you must inform the owner that you have been the victim of a burglary. They will need to inform their own insurer and may be able to make a claim.
Glossary of terms
A letter with acknowledgment of receipt (RAR) = a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt
National Police = police service for urban areas
National Gendarmerie = polite service for rural areas
A receipt for filing a complaint = a receipt given after filing a complaint
A locksmith = locksmith
A trustee = real estate management agency
Insurance policy = insurance policy
Burglary = burglary
A grim statement = insurance claim
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