The Philippine Embassy in France has issued a stern warning about spiralling crime for Filipinos travelling to Paris.
The advise issued today (Monday, July 23) follows spiralling rates of break-ins, robberies and pickpocketing in the capital city.
At the same time, the Embassy has urged Filipinos to be extra vigilant due to a string of terror incidents over the past three years. The most recent was on May 12 when a 21-year-old Chechen-French Muslim went on a knife rampage, killing one and injuring several others. The attacker was shot by the police near the Palais Garnier opera house.
Paris Embassy’s advice:
- Always secure your personal belongings such as bags, wallets, phones and other personal items when visiting tourist spots, walking around and riding public transportations.
- Be wary of pickpockets. They are rampant at metro stations, trains and even in shopping areas.
- Keep passport and identity card in separate areas of your bag, so that you lessen the risk of losing both identity documents.
- Theft may also occur in hotels and apartments. Make sure that your briefcases, bags and other valuables are secure. Be wary of the so-called “hotel rats”, scam artists who pretend to be hotel guests or tourists and who can swipe baggage in hotel lobbies, or book rooms with fake names and break in rooms to steal valuables.
- Do not carry a lot of cash. Most stores accept cards. Should you use your card, cover your hand discretely when typing the pin.
- Keep your bags out of sight when inside vehicles. Robberies may sometimes occur during traffic jams.
- Be alert and vigilant when visiting different areas in France.
- Follow the instructions of police and military personnel in the event of any incident.
- Keep updated with the news. Refrain from going to areas that have been declared to be unsafe or have received terrorism warnings.
As we reported last August, a global study of law and order placed the Philippines in the upper half of 135 countries — above nations such as France, South Korea and Italy.
For more information, visit the Paris Embassy’s website.
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