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Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

Wentworth Falls, NSW
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Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

My wife & I (Australians) wish to make a short stopover in Paris (3-4 days) on our European holiday next year.

Our l government travel advisory website (smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/…France) warns that crime is rife in Paris i.e muggings and robberies on trains and near tourist attractions. It really does sound like New York of old (sorry to US readers) or present-day Nairobi.

It is really that bad? Can fellow travellers offer us some sage advice? (We are a middle-aged couple with long-haul luggage i.e. >23kgs each).

Washington DC...
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41. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

It's not really useful applying stereotypes when real statistics are available. The type of crimes you might face in France are different than the type you might encounter in the USA. For one the cultures are different (paradoxically this appears to influence the type of crimes people commit). We are more cowboys (murdering) they are more lovers (raping) *generalizations* but the statistics bear them out in an extreme way. You don't hear much about tourists being murdered.

Here is a comparison of crime stats in the USA and France. It dates back to 2002 and in the intervening period, France's statistics will have gotten much worse. When reading it, bear in mind that the US has roughly 6 times more people than in France. The statistics are not all measured in the same way, per capita numbers can be directly compared, but exact numbers need to be adjusted (e.g. car thefts: 301,539 in France, 1,246,096 in the USA, so in France the rate is about 1.5 times higher).

nationmaster.com/compare/…Crime

On the last line we have total percentage of the population that has been victim of a crime and France has 1% more than the USA. Also bear in mind that Paris will have a lot more crime than most areas in France.

So I think we can bring an end to this discussion about Paris being safe. I would say rather, like all big cities, crime happens. Use common sense, avoid dark deserted areas after dark, try to be aware of your surroundings and you should be OK.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 20:48
Washington DC...
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42. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

Also, for Australian posters, interestingly, Australia has the highest incidence of crime victims as a percentage of population in the whole study -- 41% higher than France. Maybe this is why some Australian posters think Paris is so safe? Better to post that in the Australian forums, or just say Paris is safer than Australia.

Here is a comparison of Australian and French crime:

nationmaster.com/compare/…Crime

Then here are percentage of assault victims by country:

nationmaster.com/graph/cri_ass_vic-crime-ass…

France is 7th, USA is 9th, Australia and New Zealand are tied for 3rd, with the UK 2nd and Canada 4th.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 20:56
Austin, Texas
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43. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

I just returned from a short three day trip to Paris with my 78 year old mom. We didn't go out late at night and stayed away from sketchy areas and tourist sites with bad reps. We walked the back roads and used public transportation and had no issues. We did overhear one tourist talking about how she almost got pickpocketed though, so you do have to stay alert, as you do any where else in the world.

Derby
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44. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

Just returned from a 3 night break with my husband in a group of 4 and didn't encounter any problems..I must admit I was a little worried after some of the comments it'd read prior to going.....Paris is like any other city, it has good and bad areas. We used the metro all the time, Even late at night...Keep your wits about you and as long as you're sensible you'll be fine. Enjoy paris ..it's a beautiful city.

Paris, France
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45. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

FrankenRoad, there's something seriously wrong with the website you gave. The data is all over the place. For example, as you reported, France is apparently top for sexual assaults (including rape) with the figure of over 10,000 cases per 100,000 people. If we assume the vast majority of victims are female, this would mean one woman in 5 was sexually assaulted every year. I don't think so.

Paris, France
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46. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

Frankenroad, I find your comments in post #41 very ofensive << they are more lovers (raping) >>

In case you didn't know rape is a horrible and violent crime, there is no "love" involved.

Le Bugue, France
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47. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

I agree with F1racegirl. That was way beyond insensitive...warped, in fact.

Washington DC...
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48. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

Rape is a horrible and violent crime - yeah, i saw that, but couldn't edit again! Sorry! The point is that I have actually heard non-French tell of this being committed in France whereas I haven't heard of it first hand elsewhere.

<<For example, as you reported, France is apparently top for sexual assaults (including rape) with the figure of over 10,000 cases per 100,000 people>> 0.7% means 7 per 1000 women.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 23:21
Washington DC...
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49. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

@dg2006: <<this would mean one woman in 5 was sexually assaulted every year. I don't think so.>>

OK, I found the statistic you refer to. That is an absolute number from 2009 where France has roughly 50% more than Germany, but on the per capita page Germany has 0.089 per 1,000 people and France is not listed. If France still has roughly 50% more we could call it 0.135 per 1000 people or 1.35 per 10,000 people. My 0.7% (.07 per 1000 people) is from the link I first posted and refers to 2002 statistics and this crime rise may be consistent with other data I've seen.

But the point here is that there is crime in France and Paris is like other big cities. Just not as many murders as in the US.

Washington DC...
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50. Re: Crime against tourists in Paris - is it REALLY BAD ?

@dg2006: <<this would mean one woman in 5 was sexually assaulted every year. I don't think so.>>

OK, I found the statistic you refer to. That is an absolute number from 2009 where France has roughly 50% more than Germany, but on the per capita page Germany has 0.089 per 1,000 people and France is not listed. If France still has roughly 50% more but a smaller population we could call it 0.2 per 1000 people or 2 per 10,000 people (0.2%). My 0.7% is from the link I first posted and refers to 2002 statistics.

These numbers are obviously coming from a variety of sources and years. But the point here is that there is crime in France and Paris is like other big cities. Just not as many murders as in the US.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 23:48