In addition to the warnings posted here,visitors to Paris should be aware that the areas you would expect to be safest may be the most dangerous. Despite a generally vigilant approach and some precautions, my phone was taken from my pocket on the promenade on the Seine directly behind the Louvre. (I was using the camera function and had slipped it into my pocket briefly instead of the pouch I was using: at that point I was accosted by one of the petition carrying character...five seconds after getting rid of him he was far away with my phone..) It became clear to me that he had some accomplices hanging around too. One may expect surveillance cameras in an area like this but I understand there is none and this is a political issue.In two days I never spotted a cop along the Seine either, although there are now plenty around the Louvre -see other posts here.
At the Police Station the officer dealing with my complaint was more interested in feeding the station dog and my explanation that this is clearly a gang hanging about did not evoke much interest.
At the Eiffel one is accosted by Roma gangs with their petition strategy and they are not botheredd by armed soldiers there, one woman was loudly screaming at two soldiers.
In summary, if you choose to come to Paris disperse your valuables as much as possible and accept that you are in a country where crime fighting is not a political and national priority.Frankly I suspect the French may have some subconscious romantic attachment to their pickpockets! I wont be back.
In Paris, Gypsie Children and women are made to steal and beg from you.
Do NOT give any money to them . Should you feel sorry, give them something to eat.
Otherwise move along.
Do you ever see the men beg or steal? They force the children and women to do it.
You encourage them to steal when the leaders of the group of gypsies are able to bring in thousands of euros per day.
The men are the ones who benefit the most; the king of gypsies in Romania benefits.
Google.... Sibiu gypsie king to learn more.
These people are ruthless! At two years of age they already know how to beg. I worked as an Expat for a National company in Sibiu, romania,I know!
Europe is in a mess with this social problem. Paris and other european cities are full of the gypsies children who steal from tourists. Tourists go home shattered by these criminal acts. They are everywhere including right outside of
Les Deux Maggots, where two groups of them were rudely arguing.
By the way, Gypsies are not only from Romania.
Be careful. It can happen to you to be robbed!
This could be read to-day in the French newspaper "Le Figaro":
"Le musée n'a pas pu ouvrir ce mercredi. Les agents de la surveillance ont exercé leur droit de retrait pour manifester leur exaspération devant les bandes qui s'attaquent à eux autant qu'aux touristes. Les visites reprendront jeudi matin.
Agés de moins de 26 ans, ceux-ci s'introduisent dans les murs en profitant de la gratuité. Ils dévalisent sans faire les visiteurs (dix millions cette année) et molestent ou agressent les agents de surveillance."
The museum was unable to open Wednesday (10/04/2013)
Surveillance officers have exercised their right of withdrawal to express their frustration with bands of youngsters who attack them as much as tourists.
Aged less than 26 years, they enter the museum taking advantage of the free entry. They rob visitors (ten million this year) and molest or assault surveillance officers.
Visits resume Thursday morning (11/04/2013). Policemen in uniform are now present.
The paradox with this free entry for youngsters is that organized gangs of minors are robbing visitors, often seniors unable to defend themselves; seniors who have to pay the full ticket price!
When the police catch these youngsters they are immediately released by justice because they are minors. A few days later these pickpockets are again at work not only at Le Louvre or Orsay but even more at the Trocadero, at the Tour Eiffel and in the Metro.
Some French politicians are well aware that this criminality is a treat for tourism but zero tolerance is not a priority presently in France.
Recently I was visiting Paris for the first time. It was beautiful and I loved going to all the different sites that I had only seen pictures of before. One day, I was on the metro en route to the Louvre. I rushed on to the train, not wanting to miss it. There were a lot of people and it was rather cramped, but I was just glad I had got on in time. Just as the doors were closing, two young women rushed on, pressing up against my companions and I. The first thing I noticed was that they were quite short and it was unnecessary for them to be so pushed up against me. I thought that they were in a rush, just as I was, and did not want to miss the train. The train stopped and the doors opened. The two young ladies rushed out, and I heard something drop. Thinking it was just a normal occurrence, I looked down at my feet and waited for the train to start moving again. That's when I noticed my bag (a typical shoulder bag) was unzipped. I just assumed I had accidentally left it open when I put my ticket in. Then I noticed my wallet was on the floor, lying open. I quickly picked it up and walked over to one of my companions. She had been watching me and then realized that her bag was unzipped, too. She checked it and nothing was gone. She proceeded to tell me that the lady standing across from her had nodded at her when we fist got on the train. We realized she had been trying to warn us that the two young women were pickpockets. I was rather shaken by this occurrence and me advice to people visiting Paris in the future is to keep your bag in front of you in large crowds or very touristy places. Fortunately, nothing was taken and I am now very aware when I am in cramped spaces.
My wallet was taken from the very bottom of a small leather (about 30cms deep) rucksack that I was carrying on my front. A phone was taken from my husband's coat pocket. A man sitting next to us the metro told us the girls in front of us were pickpockets and miraculously phone and wallet were 'picked up from the floor' and handed back to us. There was no money in my wallet only credit cards. The phone is security coded. I could not believe that anyone could have got their hand to the bottom of my rucksack without me being aware. Our valuables, cash etc. are carried elsewhere. We were shocked at the incident and kept trying to work out what they had taken - nothing as it turned out or why they returned the items - because the man spoke up or because there was no cash.
Today my classmate and I were outside Opera in Paris. As usual, there were many young people who pretend to be working for charities asking us if we speak English. We said no, but the girl was trying to grab some macarons from my classmate (well while my classmate was eating them). She was unsuccessful, and she hit my friends head and called her crazy. That was quite ridiculous...
I recently returned from a daytrip to Paris 09 February 2013 whilst staying at Disneyland and thought I should share my experience with you. I was travelling with my sister, my 9 year old daughter and her 7 year old friend and had just got on the metro after visiting the Louvre. The train was packed and I was helping my daughter hold on to the middle pole when I felt something odd and looked down. A woman in her 20's was holding my purse which had been in my handbag, and immediately handed it to me as soon as she saw I noticed. I opened it and saw my cash was gone 120 euros. At that moment the doors opened and the woman and and her female friend got off the train. I jumped off the train after her with my sister and the 2 girls following me and followed them calling out but they ignored and kept walking up the stairs. My sister who is much fitter and younger than me gave chase and grabbed one. I quickly caught up and saw that the woman had my money in her hand so I grabbed it back and punched her in the face. She ran like the wind but standing watching was a man in his 30's very well dressed with the same look about him as the 2 women. I wanted to get the kids to safety so went straight back to the platform to get another train and he followed us down. He was staring at us and shaking his head. I believe he was with these 2 women and was trying his luck too however at this stage I was so angry I was giving him menacing stares which seemed to work as we got back to Disneyland safe and with our Money. I have since become quite frightened and upset by the whole experience and would never take the Metro with children again because it is too dangerous, However I have a great yearning to travel the Metro alone with a Handbag filled with razor blades and broken glass!
Caution is the key here and it is the case with any big city, you should use common sense and try to avoid any area which is dark, isolated and free of alot of traffic. Be aware of your sorroundings and always have your money in a safe place (money belt, bra?). What I usually do is know exactly where I am going, how to get there and if I am taking the metro in a secluded area, have my ticket in hand. Pickpocketers are found in every major city, so being alert is your best bet. Leave expensive jewelry at home and never carry more money then you need. Leave your passport and extra cash and travelers checks at the hotel safe. If you are staying at a hostel, I would recommend that you carry your important belongings in a seperate small bag, pack or shoulder bag. Make sure you have copies of your passport and numbers of travelers checks (if you carry these) in a seperate location for just in case they are lost or stolen. The number to your local consulate is a good idea as well as is the phone number to the local authorities.
The crowds around Eiffel tower are a good opportunity to pickpockets. In one of our late visits, Fernanda noticed a couple of men following us, too close, and with a clear concentration in my camcorder.
We joined one line to the elevators and they lined after us. Then, I turned myself, looked the first one clearly in the eyes, and, without a word, we moved to another elevator. They abandoned the line and went away.
Throughout my whole life, I have always gone to Paris with my family and trust me paris is like no other city, but it is a very safe city. The major problem in Paris is pick pocketing and scamming. For people who want to go to Paris I believe taking the Metro, RER is great. The metro in paris is great and I love it. But the thing is you need to be very vigilant. Don't bring a money let or a fanny pack please. When you ride the metro here in paris you need to watch your surroundings. Down in the stations you frequently encounter a group of teenagers, that will come up to you and ask if you need help. The group of kids are pickpockets and thieves and they will usually be girls and sometimes boys. The thing most of the pickpockets here are a part of the Roma gang. If they come up to you say No loudly in french, so you can get attention. Another thing to do is when your at the platform watch for groups of kids who are alone and when the train enters the station they sometimes will follow you and hold on to your belongings and stay away from the door as much as you can. One time I took a friend to Paris and were in the metro at Charles de Gaulle Etoile and there were a group of girls with sneakers blue jeans and sweaters following us and you could tell they were suspicious and when we got on the train the girls stood by the doors and got off at the next station and they pushed into people deliberately and sneaked their hands into their pockets and I screamed voleur french for thief and the girls ran away as I pointed at them.
Tips: when your riding the Metro or RER be very vigilant in or on areas, lines, and stations.
RER B- Charles de Gaulle to Chatelet, and especially Gare du Nord
Metro Line 1- from Charles de Gaulle Etoile to Bastille
Metro Line 2 - Barbes-rochechuart to Anvers
Metro Line 4- Chatelet to Barbes-rochechuart
Metro Line 6- Charles de Gaulle Etoile to La Motte Picquet Grenelle especially
Metro Line 9- Alma Marceau to Franklin D Roosevelt
Metro Line 13- Saint Lazare to Montparnasse bienvenue
Here is a link of pickpockets in the metro: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=t4Et8RRGyqY&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dt4Et8RRGyqY
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