Source: (2004) European Journal of Criminology. 1(1): 111-151.Crime and insecurity have been major political issues in France during the past 20 years, and especially during the presidential election campaign of 2002. This survey focuses on empirically-based social science that is relevant to these issues. Key themes are crime trends and the influence of incivilities and of fear of crime. The political debate about crime and crime reduction since the 1970s is described and analysed. The paper describes and critically assesses the various measures of the crime phenomenon (vital statistics, victim surveys, self-report studies) and summarizes the information provided by these measures at various times. The various societal responses to crime and insecurity are reviewed, including police work (and police reform), incarceration trends, social prevention and the new partnerships at a local level. Moves to decentralize policy and practice in the field of control and prevention of crime are discussed. Finally, key publications, centres of criminological research and sources of funding are reviewed. Author's abstract.