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Paris sees fall in crime against tourists

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Paris sees fall in crime against tourists
Crime against tourists in Paris is falling, the police say. Photo: AFP
18:20 CET+01:00
The French capital has a reputation among many of its 30 million annual tourists for being dangerous, but new figures released on Wednesday show crime against visitors is actually falling.

Pickpockets at the Louvre, scammers in Montmartre and bag snatchers on the RER trains have all been the plague of tourists visiting Paris, but new figures released on Wednesday offered some good news for visitors.

After several high-profile incidents Paris police chiefs have been under pressure to deal with crime against tourists and new measures introduced in 2013 and beefed up this summer appear to have paid off.

On Wednesday, police in the capital released the latest crime data, with the key numbers as follows:

  • In the first nine months of 2014 violent thefts against tourists dropped by 8 percent at key tourist sites in the city compared to the same period in 2013
  • Violent thefts against tourists from China have dropped by 25 percent over the same time frame
  • The capital also saw a 4.5 percent drop in violence in tourist areas of the capital such as Montmartre
  • The Louvre museum has seen a 13 percent drop in violent thefts targeting tourists
  • The sector around the Champs Élysées saw a 24 percent drop in violent thefts against tourists and a 22 percent fall in minor injuries attributed to violence in the area
  • Both Montmartre and the area around Notre Dame cathedral and the Latin Quarter saw a 6 percent drop in violent thefts

One way the police say they have helped cut crime against tourists is through the cops who patrol the river Seine carrying out checks to root out potential thieves.

Warnings have also been issued in several languages on public transport such as the Metro or the RER trains that serve the airports to alert tourists to pickpockets.

When Paris police intensified their fight against crime in June this year, part of their task was to crack Eastern European gangs, who were believed to be behind many of the thefts from tourists.

The stats revealed that in the first nine months of 2013 there was a 23 percent drop in the number of nationals from Eastern European countries singled out for crimes.

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