Unwelcome Visitors

Romanian Delinquents

Anyone had any experience of problems in Paris? I went through last year with my daughter and whilst it wasn’t the most pleasant experience I didn’t feel overrun by romanian gangs. Is this another Daily Mail exaggeration?!?

M6, TF1 and envoyé speciale have all done reports on the problem - seems to be horrendous, very well organised pickpocket gangs and no you wouldn’t notice them - that’s the whole idea! For once I don’t think it’s politics but a real problem, we’re in the middle of nowhere but friends who work in local supermarkets confirm the problem - families turn up and the kids eat things straight off the shelves while the adults shop lift… just repeating first hand information (Géant and Intermarché in the extremely quiet (lowest crime rates in France) Aveyron) Oh and while on the subject, why does anyone even bother reading the UK press for info about France once living in here … there’s enough first hand press here and it’ll do wonders for your language skills (take that with a pinch of salt - French teacher talking) and I agree with Fiona - crime’s pretty terrible wherever you go in Europe or elsewhere once you get into large towns/cities. Having said that you can never be too careful - it’s taken me 6 years to persuad my other half not to leave the car keys in the ignition over night and to lock the car… she’s never had it stolen but it wouldn’t last minutes in other parts of France or Europe. anecdote: her parents used to do the same thing until someone came into the farmyard and took their car late at night… but it was found not far away the next day untouched, keys still in it, somebody couldn’t be bothered to walk home so “borrowed” their car!

I didn’t notice any so called gangs myself to be honest, what is interesting though that this could of course be french publicity to support their decision to remove people from the country!

I don’t think all beggars are also pickpockets though. The problem in Paris appears to be that the begging is a distraction whilst others in the gang pick your pockets/handbag.

A survey by tripadvisor came up with this top 10 list for pickpocketing capitals:

  1. Barcelona (I never take my handbag to Barcelona)
  2. Rome
  3. Paris

London was in the top 10 but apparently Spain seems to be the worst country affected with Madrid, Tenerife & the Costa Brava all making appearances above London.