|Posted by Rachel J Roche on August 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM|
Becky and I went on the Metro quite a few times over our weekend and it’s a brilliant way to get around. On one occasion however, some American tourists came close to being pickpocketed by a group of girls whilst getting on the train. After being shouted at by some guys who noticed before it was too late, the girls promptly left the train but simply went to sit back down on the bench at the station, presumably to wait for another target. It’s awful, but you have to be so careful. I’ve since bought myself an over-the-shoulder handbag and will be extra vigilant when I'm next travelling around the city.
Here are my top tips for helping you avoid being a victim of a pickpocket:
1. Only take what you need and avoid taking too much cash
2. Use a bag which fastens properly (e.g. with a zip) and put valuables in an inside pocket which also fastens – a cross body bag is better than a bag which goes only over one shoulder
3. Be extra vigilant in crowded and tourist destinations (e.g. the Metro and around the Eiffel Tower etc.) and remember that pickpockets usually operate in groups
4. Beware of distractions and people asking for assistance with cash machines or anything which appears a little out of the ordinary. I was scammed a couple of years ago in Paris by a little old lady no less! She only took me for 10 euros but I was still a bit miffed!
There is plenty of additional advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, including, if you do fall victim to a pickpocket or any other crime, first contact the local police and then the UK Embassy if you need, for example, to make arrangements for a temporary passport if yours has been lost or stolen.
Although you have to be careful, Paris is generally a safe city so happy travelling!