Broken window. Photo credit: Jan Koetsier
Paris

Immigrants overrepresented in burglaries in France

Nearly a quarter of French people have already suffered a burglary of their main residence. Foreigners represent most of the accused.

Published: July 7, 2021, 11:25 am

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    In 2017, “11 percent had an African nationality, while 3 percent of the population residing in France is of an African nationality”. Added to that were “7 percent who had a nationality outside the EU, and even 11 percent had a European nationality”. Therefore, a total of 29 percent of foreigners were implicated in burglaries while they represent only 7,4 percent of the French population, according to data from the French Ministry of the Interior and INSEE.

    Almost a quarter of French people have already suffered a burglary of their main residence, and for more than half (14 percent), it is not a distant experience but a break-in they experienced over the past 10 years.

    Large numbers of French people are currently preparing to leave for vacation to take advantage of the summer season. The French Institute of Public Opinion (Ifop) on July 6, published a survey on the experience of burglaries and the fear that the French have of becoming victims. The study covers the whole year, while giving a central place to summer vacation, a period conducive to break-ins.

    Produced for Internorm with a representative national sample of 1000 French people, it highlighted four distinct points. First, a growing fear of the French at the idea of leaving their home when they go on vacation. In fact, more than two-thirds (69 percent) today say they are worried about their accommodation when they go on leave or on weekends, i.e. a feeling of more widespread concern than was measured a couple of years ago –  in 2006, fifteen years ago, only 45 percent were worried according to Ifop.

    Being the victim of squatting also concerned residents, whether it was for a main home (56 percent) or for a second home (72 percent). And this fear of seeing their main home squatted is not the prerogative of the rich. The Ifop study revealed, on the contrary, that it affected the French with a standard of living less than or equal to 900 euros net per month (75 percent) much more than those with an income of more than 2500 euros net per month (56 percent).

    “The media coverage that has been seen in recent years around the squatting of second homes or rather the great difficulty in dislodging the squatters, has largely created anxiety,” said Alain Bauer one of the researchers, a professor of criminology at the National Center for Arts and Crafts (Cnam).

    The climate of insecurity that the French have been experiencing lately, is a legitimate concern and is not based on empty rumours. Regional newspapers in France report on the rising number of criminal acts involving foreigners on a daily basis.

    Nantes elected officials this week also confirmed the existence of the source of delinquency, difficult to fight because the perpetrators are often minor foreigners or they claim to be minors and authorities have great difficulty in proving the contrary. They blame the health crisis “because we cannot send the perpetrators back to their countries that do not want them”.

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