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Do the French underestimate the risk of burglary?

The number of households affected by burglary or attempted burglary was estimated at 569,000 in 2017. The proportion of victims in the total number of households has risen from 1.3% to 2% in 10 years[1]. A recent study and a survey examine how the French perceive the risk of burglary.

Do the French underestimate the risk of burglary?

According to a survey conducted before the summer for the Home Observatory (Observatoire des Foyers) (Covéa, Verisure & Saretec), more than 6 out of 10 French people are very concerned about their home being burgled or invaded by squatters. Moreover, nearly one in five French people have previously been robbed. For people living in isolated individual homes, this figure rises to 28%.

 

Risky behaviours

 

Despite these statistics, the French sometimes make life easier for thieves. The Home Security Observatory clearly identifies several risky behaviours:

  • Leaving windows open when in another room.
  • Leaving windows or shutters open at night.
  • Failing to lock the door when at home.
  • Leaving property outside the home.

People in the Ile-de-France region appear to be the most likely to leave their shutters open at night, or even to fail to lock their doors when they leave their home for a short time. In addition, many people hide their valuables in places that are easier to find than they think.

For their part, young people are the most likely to publish photos online when they are not at home. Certain 18 to 34-year-olds even go so far as to mention their holiday dates on social networks such as Facebook.

« We are seeing a significant decline in claims among professionals, but a real increase among individuals. Burglars usually operate at nightfall.» explains Raphael Jaouen, Head of the Remote Monitoring department at Nexecur.

It should be noted that while there are fewer robberies in second homes, they can have a greater financial impact. Indeed, 25% of owners leave valuable items inside them during their absence.

 

Ineffectual protection systems

 

More than half of all households have not acquired any specific equipment to protect themselves from these break-ins (source: OpinionWay), while others have invested in certain effective devices such as armoured doors (29% of dwellings) and/or safes (8% of dwellings).

Such measures can deter the opportunistic or amateur thief, as some burglars are quickly discouraged. It is thus estimated that more than 270,000 attempted – and therefore failed – burglaries occurred in 2017, according to the National Observatory of Crime and Responses (ONDPR) (Victimization in 2017 and Perception of Security).

While other technologies, such as remote monitoring, are now available to scare off more experienced thieves, there is still considerable room for improvement.

« Two devices are particularly effective in limiting the time burglars are present, and therefore the damage they cause, in the home: indoor and outdoor sirens as well as intercom systems linked to people rather than robots,» adds Raphael Jaouen.

According to the ONDPR’s very comprehensive figures, only 10% of victims decide to install an alarm following an actual or attempted break-in. The figures are even lower for the acquisition of a surveillance camera (6%), or subscription to a security contract (4%).

 

[1] This figure is an estimate, as many victims do not press charges, particularly for attempted burglaries. The figures reflected in police reports are lower.

Source : Opinionway Covea 

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