Swiss village bordering France subsidises alarms for burglary-prone residents
A Swiss village at the border with France will become the first to subsidise burglary alarms for all residents after a spike in break-ins, the mayor said in comments broadcast on Friday.
The small northwestern village of Boncourt, which counts just over 1,200 inhabitants, decided a few years ago to hire a security company to patrol the streets at night, and also requested that local and regional police as well as border guards patrol the area.
The mayor at the time, Andre Goffinet, said such measures were needed after a string of burglaries, including of the local bank and gas station, which he blamed on "the border effect".
The village is located just one kilometre (0.6 miles) from the French border and 50 kilometres from Germany.
But current mayor Lionel Maitre said Friday the break-ins were continuing.
"We see that these measures (the patrols) are still not sufficient," Maitre told the RTS public broadcaster.
He said local authorities had therefore decided the village would become the first municipality in Switzerland to subsidise the installation of home-security systems for its residents.
The village, which already spends around 25,000 Swiss francs ($25,000, 22,000 euros) annually on security patrols, plans to spend up to 30,000 more to cover part of the cost of installing the home-security systems.
Maitre told RTS the cost was reasonable compared to the benefit it would bring in terms of added security.