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CRIME

Paris public transport ranked worst in France for thefts and assaults

Paris is the French city with the highest number of crimes on its public transport, according to Interior Ministry figures. However, lockdowns caused crime to stall across the country in 2020.

Paris public transport ranked worst in France for thefts and assaults
The number of attacks on public transport, however, fell significantly across all cities in France in 2020 compared to 2019. Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP

Taking the metro in Paris can sometimes be a bit stressful to say the least. According to data from the Interior Ministry reported by Le Figaro newspaper, the French capital is the city with the highest levels of thefts and physical assaults on public transport.

In 2020, 54,856 people were victims of theft or violence on the RATP (the Paris transport network), which represents 25 victims per 1,000 inhabitants.

READ ALSO: How transport in Paris will change in 2022

Paris tops the list of regions with the most theft and violent incidents on public transport. It’s followed by the city of Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris, with 2,218 victims of aggression, representing 19 victims per 1,000 inhabitants.

According to the Interior Ministry’s statistics the culprits tend to be young. In 74 percent of cases, they are between the ages of 13 and 29.

In light of these figures, the RATP stressed that it has taken steps to fight against crime on its bus, tram and metro network. The company primarily relies on 51,000 surveillance cameras and 1,000 security patrol agents.

Many Parisians, particularly women, have complained about the lack of security on the Paris Metro in recent years. According to a 2017 study by the Institute of Urbanism and Planning (IAU), one in two women in France feel unsafe when taking public transport, compared 26.7 percent of men.

An even more shocking study from 2015 found that 100 percent of women in France have experienced some sort of harassment on public transport.

READ ALSO: Fed-up Paris Metro commuters launch fresh campaign against sexual harassment

Lockdowns caused urban crime to fall

The number of attacks on public transport, however, fell significantly across all cities in France in 2020 compared to 2019. This is not surprising: the successive lockdowns emptied out cities across France, in particular Paris, of residents and tourists.

Working from home rules and shop closures reduced the crowds in metros, trams and buses, causing the number of attacks to plummet. Crime on public transport fell by 29 percent in Paris and 18 percent in Saint Denis.

Some cities saw an even bigger impact due to the drastic drop in public transport use, with crime dropping by 65 percent in Grenoble and 45 percent in Bordeaux.

READ ALSO: 5 ways the Paris Metro catches out unwary tourists

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POLICE

France charges teen over ‘imminent terror attack’ plot

French authorities have charged an 18-year-old man on suspicion of planning an imminent terror attack with a knife in the name of Islamic State (IS) jihadists, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

France charges teen over 'imminent terror attack' plot

Initial investigations indicated that he planned to carry out a terror attack “in the name of IS, to which he had pledged allegiance,” said the source, who asked not to be named, adding that the man had been detained in the Drome region of southeast France and charged in Paris.

The source added that the man had been detained in the Drome region of southeast France and charged in Paris.

The man, from a Muslim family, had adopted extremist views and was considered a threat, sparking France’s anti-terror prosecutors office (PNAT) to open an investigation on May 19, a source close to the case said.

Police arrested him on Friday and a video of him swearing allegiance to IS was found in his possession.

The source did not say whom he was planning to target in the attack or in which location.

France saw a wave of jihadist attacks from 2015 that left hundreds dead and pushed the country to its highest level of security alert.

There has been no repeat of a mass atrocity in the last years, but there have been several deadly attacks carried out by lone individuals

More to follow

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