Penal Issues pursues the publication of studies on crime trends. Following the issues on homicide (September 2008, XXI, 4), non-lethal personal violence (December 2008, XXI, 5) and personal theft (June 2010, XXIII, 3), the present paper, on burglary, is based on research by Renée ZAUBERMAN, Philippe ROBERT, Sophie NÉVANEN and David BON on contract with the Agence Nationale de la Recherche.
Measuring crime is a complex operation, for which research has sought to diversify its sources, following early work based exclusively on institutionally produced data (on judicial statistics at first, more recently on police statistics). Because many illegal acts are not registered in police and gendarmerie activity statistics, social sciences have developed specific tools to grasp them. One of these tools is known as victimisation surveys, which question general population samples on the offences to which they claim to have been prey over a given period of time. We have compared these two sources, in order to observe the trends in burglaries in France since the mid 1980s.
More specifically, we will confine our study to burglaries committed in main homes and their annexes, since some of the surveys consulted did not include burglaries of other places.