±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Expat Focus Financial Update November 2017
· What Might Brexit Mean For Expat Finances?
· Halloween Traditions in Countries Across the World
· Expat Focus Financial Update October 2017
· How To Make The Most Of Your Retirement Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update September 2017
· 10 Things To Think About Before You Move Abroad In Your Middle Age
· Expat Focus Financial Update August 2017
· What Could Higher Interest Rates Mean For Your Overseas Property Purchase?
Crime and SafetyBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
France - Crime and Safety
If you are the victim of a theft you need to go along to the nearest ‘commissariat de police’ and they will help you to complete a statement. They will expect to see your passport and the vehicle documents if the theft is from your car, but it is mandatory to carry these with you anyway.
There are different numbers that you can call if you need the emergency services. Those who feel that they may have difficulty with the language can call 112, which is a number that reaches the emergency services no matter where you are in Europe. This number can be called no matter what type of phone you are using and it does not cost you anything. If you prefer you can contact the different emergency services individually.
If you need the fire service you dial 18. You should be aware that in rural areas these are staffed mainly by volunteers, but many of them have medical experience and they often help out with other emergencies such as car accidents. The ambulance service can be reached by dialling 15. Each department has its own head office for the ‘SAMU’ ambulance service and this will be where your call connects. The police can be contacted on 17 and if you need assistance while you are out at sea the coastguard and rescue services can be reached on 1616.
The crime rate overall in France is very similar to that of other European nations although it does tend to rise each year. The prison population in France is high and there is a policy of imposing tough sentences in an attempt to deter criminals, but this is a policy that is not really working. Drug crimes in particular are dealt with severely. However, the ratio of prisoners to general population is much lower than in the UK and the US. France does not have the death penalty and when prisoners are allowed out many still have to wear electronic tags. The maximum prison sentence that can be imposed is 30 years.
The majority of crimes that take place are against properties but violent crimes are still quite rare. Mugging is not a common crime but it does happen occasionally in the big cities. In some areas there are local security organisations which patrol near schools and around public buildings. Sexual harassment is considered to be a problem in France and women are advised to take care if they are out at night and should never hitchhike if they are on their own.
It is considered that the worst region for crime is southern coast of the country and the cities of Marseille and Nice in particular have a reputation for criminal activity. Marseille has the highest rates of organised crime in France and a number of separatist groups are active there and in Corsica. This is not to say that these areas are no-go areas and there plenty of neighbourhoods in both places that have few problems.
Crimes against properties are more frequent than any other type of crime and holiday homes are often the target. However, if you are living in a rural area you will find that crime of any kind is extremely rare and if you take the proper security precautions such as strong locks and a burglar alarm then you should not experience any problems.
Not all police officers in France carry guns. It is the policy in some areas for the police to be armed all the time and this applies mainly in the larger cities. It is rare for the police in rural areas to be armed but it does happen from time to time.
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.