Pickpockets have always had a field day on the Paris Metro but according to France’s Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, financially motivated crimes with violence on the Metro, trains and buses went up by 16 percent in the first semester of 2014.
A study released this week by feminist group Osez le Féminisme also showed that nine in ten women surveyed admitted having been the victims of sexual harassment on France’s public transport.
Although these stats show how important it is for public transport users in France to keep their wits about them, there has been a “drop in other criminal acts such as gratuitous violent attacks (16 percent), non violent theft (21 percent) as well as drug possession (13 percent)”, Cazeneuve pointed out.
“Measures will be taken to fight all these crimes on board the trains,” he added.
France’s Interior Ministry has therefore decided to allow security personnel “to work in plain clothes” for it to be easier to catch our offenders.
A special unit aimed at “fighting violence and sexual harassment aimed at women” has also being created.
The Local reported last month how a survey revealed half of French passengers also say they feel unsafe when using public transport.
A poll from OpinionWay – Axis Communication revealed that 47 percent of participants feel “often” or “sometimes” unsafe when riding the Metro or taking the bus or the train in France.
The study shows that women, young people, passengers on Paris's RER commuter trains and people living in the Île-de-France area around the capital feel the most unsafe when using public transport.
Shocking incidents such as the one that saw a women being raped in daylight on the RER and another that saw a gang of young robbers storm a train near Paris, have only helped add to the fear of travelling on commuter trains around Paris.