Safety and security

Safety and security

Common-sense security precautions will help you enjoy your vacation. Most problems can be avoided by being aware of one’s surroundings and avoiding high-risk areas. You will some useful tips below.

Staying safe

When going out, carry only essential items: ONE credit/ATM card, ONE piece of identification, and no more than €40-50. Avoid carrying high-value jewelry and large amounts of cash. Valuables should be kept out of sight and in places difficult for thieves to reach, such as internal coat pockets or in pouches hung around the neck or inside clothes.

Keep photocopies of travel documents and credit cards separate from the original. Raise your awareness level while in crowded elevators, escalators, and metro cars.

Bags

Carry only a purse that zips closed and ensure that it is carried under the arm and slightly in front of the body.  Carry your wallet in a front pocket. Never leave valuables unattended. Thieves often operate in groups and often come to each other’s aid if confronted. If a thief is caught in the act, a simple pick-pocketing could turn into an assault if you attempt to capture the thief. You should shout out for police assistance to attract attention.

ATMs

Do not use ATMs in isolated, poorly lighted areas or where loiterers are present. Be especially alert to persons standing close enough to see the Personal Identification Number (PIN) being entered into the machine. If your card gets stuck in an ATM, immediately report the incident to both the local bank and your bank at home.

Taking a taxi

Use only authorized taxis. Authorized taxis in Paris have the following equipment:

  • An illuminated “Taxi Parisien” sign on the roof;
  • A display meter showing the cost of the trip;
  • A display at the rear of the vehicle and visible from the exterior that enables the monitoring of the daily duration of use of the vehicle;
  • A plate fixed to the front fender bearing the license number.

Women traveling alone

Women traveling alone should ride in the front car of the subway or train, nearest to the conductor. Try and avoid the long maze of subway tunnels at Montparnasse, République and Châtelet-Les Halles late at night, which tend to be full of young thugs. There are yellow emergency call boxes on every platform. French men are famous for trying to pick up beautiful women they pass on the street. To avoid unwanted advances, don’t smile if you accidentally make eye contact (it’s interpreted as a come-on). If you think you’re being followed, go into the nearest open café or restaurant and ask them to call you a taxi.

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