16 lines, 205 Km of track. Paris Metro Is It Safe?
Are you scared to use the Metro? I’m a French native and know the Paris Metro well. So, is the Paris Metro safe?
This depends on your behaviour. By that, I mean that if you are travelling and showing a lot of valuable objects, my answer will be yes you will be in danger. If you learn the Pickpockets’ techniques, you are not going to have any problems. Of course, there are some areas that tourists should avoid.
I’m going to introduce you to the 10 pickpockets’ techniques.
Table of Content
Listen for the 'door closing' signal
This means the doors are going to close and it is very easy for pickpockets to steal from you and exit before the doors close. This is when the pickpocket has the chance to steal from you and leave the train just before the doors shut. No chance for you to catch them!
If you are tired, you may fall asleep in the train and you are likely to lose your handbag or wallet. So, stay awake and alert.
Don't be too nice
This scenario can happen with two pickpockets working together. The first drops her card or wallet in front of you and because you are a gentleman you bend to help her. At this moment, the second pickpocket empties your back pocket. Don’t be too nice!
You hear in the crowds ‘Thief!’ (Voleurs!), so naturally you put your hands exactly where you have your most valuable things. By doing this, you just tell the pickpockets where your valuables are. Don’t react!
Most organised pickpockets can organise fake fights, fake arguments and others in the group then use these distractions to steal from you. Be vigilant!
Line 9 is the most dangerous line and runs from Boulogne in the west to Montreuil in the east with stops at Trocadero and the Champs-Elysees. Be extra careful!
Don't be Charitable
On the Metro, there are a lot of fake charities or activists asking you for money or to sign something. The purpose of this is to distract you and to make you an easy target for other pickpockets. Be aware that pickpockets are organised and work together in gangs.
Secure Bags and Wallets
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To make the life of pickpockets harder, the easy solution in any country is to put your valuables in a well zipped, properly sealed pouch, strapped around you. The humble paper clip is a good way to tie your rucksack zips together. We highly recommend that you use a wallet which goes across the body and can be concealed under clothes like the one below.
Spill a Drink
Another favourite pickpocket technique is to spill a drink on you. The pickpocket will mop you up with a tissue and at the same time rob you. Don’t let strangers get too close to you!
You are on holiday, you don’t need to rush. So, you can wait for the next Metro and avoid the crowds. Don’t show off your valuables. It is better to use your mobile phone in a safe place than in front of everyone. Remove your jewellery before travelling. Never wear it in the Metro but put it back on when you arrive at the opera.
Now you are aware of those techniques, don’t give pickpockets what they want. They are looking for easy targets. So, you will be safe if you are smarter than the average tourist, because they want to steal quickly and without problems.
A lot of children under 15 are pickpockets working for their parents. Why? Because if they are caught by the police, the police can do nothing with them as they are under the age limit. So basically, there is no risk for them.
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Let me know your experiences of the Metro at Paris. How was it for you?