Posted by: nancycurteman | March 30, 2010

The Dark Side of the “City of Light”: Petty Crime in Paris

Visitors to Paris need to be aware that the “City of Light” has a dark side. Petty crimes against foreign visitors is serious. Most of these crimes involve pick-pocketing, fraud and other types of theft. Tour guides warn their clients to be extra cautious when visiting museums, monuments, train stations, airports, major department stores and subways. These areas are favorite haunts of pickpockets who prey on unsuspecting visitors. The crimes are usually crimes of opportunity. For example a tourist may leave a wallet or credit cards on a counter while paying for a purchase; or set a backpack down while snapping a picture of a monument. A thief will grab the wallet or backpack and be gone before the tourist even notices. In tight crowds where people are crammed against each other thieves provide a pickpocketing banquet for thieves. Some areas of Paris have  higher rates of criminal activity than others such as less populated metro stations and the Marche aux Puces. Unless with a group, it’s best to avoid certain areas at night such as Place Pigalle and Barbes. With a few common sense precautions travelers can decrease their chances of becoming victims. (For safety tips, see A Killer Idea, posted 3/28/10).


  1. Guess I’ll have to be extra careful when I go.


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