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CRIME

MAP: Where in France has the highest burglary rates?

France has released its annual crime statistics which show that although the chance of being burgled has not risen, there is a big variation between different parts of the country.

MAP: Where in France has the highest burglary rates?
Photo: AFP

The figures come from crimes reported to the police and in total 233,100 reports of dwelling burglaries were filed with French police in 2019, according to the latest Insécurite et Délinquance crime report.

Overall the number of burglaries was largely unchanged from 2018, which saw a sharp fall on previous years and confirms a continued downward or stable trend for most types of crime in France.

READ ALSO How to avoid being burgled in France (and what to do if you are)

The effects of the March and April lockdown are not seen in these figures, which reflect only 2019.

Overall the chance of being burgled in France is still fairly small, with 4.9 victims per 1,000 inhabitants, but the figures do show regional variation.

The data is expressed as burglaries per 1,000 dwellings, but even within this there is a clear trend towards the big cities seeing more crime, particularly Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Lyon.

France's most sparsely-populated départements – Creuse, Corrèze, Cantal and Lozère – show the lowest rates of burglary.

The map below shows a breakdown by département, but on a regional level the greater Paris region of Île-de-France saw the highest level of burglaries, with 8.7 per 1,000 dwellings.

The safest region for householders is the island of Corsica, which saw just 1.6 burglaries for every 1,000 homes.

 

The figures also show the nationalities of both victims and people charged with burglary.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of both are French, but in the 'non French European' category you are more likely to be a burglar (11 percent of those charged were European but not French) than a victim of burglary – five percent of victims were European against a total population of three percent.

Reports of dwelling burglaries peaked in France in 2013 and again in 2017 but have since fallen.

For the full crime data report, click here.

 

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PROPERTY

France brings in new tax declaration for property-owners

If you own property in France - either a main residence or a second home - you will now have to complete an extra tax declaration after changes to the tax system. Here's how it works.

France brings in new tax declaration for property-owners

People living in France already have to complete a yearly tax declaration, but if you own property here, you will also have to complete an extra declaration this year after changes to the tax system.

Who?

This applies to anyone who owns property in France – whether it is their main residence or a second home – including those who live in another country. If you do not own property and only rent your home, then this does not concern you.

What?

This isn’t an extra tax, it’s simply an extra piece of paperwork that has to be filled in, known as a Déclaration d’occupation, and this declaration is concerned with whether the property is your main residence or a second home.

Why?

This is because of recent changes to the property tax system. There are two types of property tax in France; taxe foncière which is paid by the property owner and taxe d’habitation which is paid by the property occupier. If you own your home home, traditionally you paid both.

However, taxe d’habitation is in the process of being scrapped for most people, and now only high-earners and second-home owners pay it. The problem is that the tax office don’t have a record of whether a property is used as a main home or a second home and therefore don’t know who to send bills to – hence the new declaration.

How?

If you live in France and already make your annual tax declaration online then this process should be fairly easy – head to impots.gouv.fr, log in and then click on Biens immobiliers (real estate) in the menu bar along the top of the website.

The site will then list the property or properties in your name, and you can fill out the déclaration d’occupation for each, stating whether it is your main residence or a second home.

If you’re not already registered on the impots.gouv site then you have two choices – register and set yourself up an account which will allow you to make the declaration online, or make the declaration on paper.

In order to register on the site you will need your numéro fiscale (tax number) which you should be able to find on previous correspondence from the tax office such as your annual tax bills.

You can find a full explanation of how to set up the online account HERE.

If you would prefer to make the declaration on paper, then the easiest option is to head to your local tax office and ask for a Déclaration d’occupation – you can find the tax office that serves your area by googling ‘Centre des finances publique‘ plus the name of your commune.

You do not need an appointment, as tax offices deal with queries on a walk-in basis, but make sure you check the opening times in advance as some offices, especially in small towns, have unusual opening hours. 

When?

The deadline to have completed the declaration is June 30th, and people who have a property registered should receive notification from the tax office. 

You will then receive your property tax bill in the autumn as usual. 

This is a one-off declaration so you won’t have to do it every year – only when your situation changes, so for example if you sell the property, buy a new one or change from it being a second-home to your main residence. 

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