Paris in complete safety
Welcoming visitors is a priority
The Préfecture de police has been developing for a number of years a comprehensive system so as to receive tourists.
Paris community police has about a hundred public reception points scattered all over the capital. Among them, the 20 district (arrondissement) central police stations are open 24/7, in order to attend to victims and provide help and assistance.
Foreign visitors can speak to bilingual police officers. The latter, either at the reception desk in police stations or patrolling the streets, throughout the summer, wear badges indicating, by means of a flag, the language(s) they can speak. They can answer simple questions such as basic information (geographic direction or tourist sites) as well as more sensitive questions, regarding theft or assault, and may thus bring valuable assistance to tourists who do not command the French language.
When recording a complaint, the (Système d'Accueil des Victimes Etrangères - Reception System for Foreign Victims) software, available in twenty languages, now allows any police civil servant to record the complaint from a foreign tourist and provide him/her with a receipt in its original language, thus simplifying the visitor's forthcoming procedures at the embassy or in his/her own country.
To avoid becoming a victim, follow these tips
Be careful in the street :
- preferably use a small bag or a waist-bag / fanny-pack rather than a backpack ;
- take little cash with you ;
- do not put your wallet in your back pockets ;
- if an assailant tries to snatch your bag, do not resist, or you may be injured ;
- beware of individuals who may divert your attention in order to steal your personal belongings.
- Some swindlers may impersonate police officers and ask for your identification and money. First of all, bear in mind that a real police officer will never ask for money. Ask for their white plastic three-colour card indicating "Police" in the centre, diagonally crossed in blue, white and red and bearing markings on both sides.
Be careful in public transport :
- do not leave your luggage unattended ;
- do not let any individual go through the turnstile / gate directly behind you ;
- never buy tickets from scalpers who will charge you extra (up to ten times their value). Use ticket counters or ticket-issuing machines in (train / bus / subway) stations.
Never accept rides from someone who may offer their transport services in airports or in the street : this could be a "bogus/illegal" taxi, a crime punished by the French Labour Code
In public places :
- do not handle money in public and never change currencies in the street, use bureaux de change / currency exchange offices instead ;
- use small denominations, bank cards or cheques (of course if they can be cleared in France) for any purchases ;
- do not leave your methods of payment in cloakrooms or in your coat on a chair (at restaurant or in cafés for instance), a pickpocket could sit behind you and steal your belongings ;
- never lay your bag at your feet and do not leave your mobile phone or your wallet on the table in a café or a restaurant ;
- do not put your phone in an outside pocket of your bag or garments ;
- do not lend it to a stranger ;
- in restaurants and bars, do not hesitate to ask for the menu and pricelist, so as to avoid any unpleasant
Protect yourself against vehicle theft :
- lock the doors, boot / trunk and make sure the windows of your vehicle are completely closed ;
- do not leave valuable items in view (mobile phones, cameras, clothing items, bags, etc.).
Loss or theft of your identification papers :
- remember to photocopy all your identification papers and keep the copies in your hotel or your temporary place of residence ;
- in case of loss, contact the consulate and in case of theft, also declare it to the police.
What to do if you become the victim of a theft or an assault ?
- Should you become a victim of an assault, try to make the attacker go away by making as much noise as possible (shouting / screaming) ;
- réfugiez-vous chez le commerçant le plus proche et faites appeler les forces de police ;
- take refuge in the nearest shop and get someone to call the police ;
- give a description of your attacker : - sex, supposed age, hair colour and cut, height and weight, distinctive features (beard, scars, tattoos, glasses, etc.).
- indicate how and the direction in which they fled. In the case of a vehicle, specify the colour, brand and, if possible, the licence plate number (even partially).
Police officers will take you to the nearest police station so as to record your complaint. If you do not speak French, the S.A.V.E. (Système d'Accueil des Victimes Etrangères - Reception System for Foreign Victims) available in twenty languages allows officers to record your complaint and provide you with a receipt in your language.
In the case of physical assault, the officer shall also provide you with a written document allowing you to get examined at the medical-legal emergency unit (1, place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris - M° Cité, RER St-Michel -Notre-Dame - 01 42 34 82 85/29 -24/7) which shall issue an official certificate to be added to your file. An investigation will then be opened to look for the assailant(s).
- Should you become the victim of theft, go to he nearest police reception place to lodge a complaint. You shall find addresses and opening hours on page 10.
Emergency numbers :
- Police emergency : 17
- Emergency number from a mobile phone : 112
- Fire brigade / ambulance : 18
- Emergency medical assistance service (SAMU): 15
Lost or stolen credit card : 0 892 705 705 - 7j./7 (0,34€/min)
- American Express : 01 47 77 72 00
- Diner’s Club : 0 810 31 41 59
- Lost and found service : 0 892 68 32 08 - 7j./7 (0,337€/min)
36, rue des Morillons, 75015 Paris
0 821 00 25 25 (0,12€/min)
- From Mondays to Thursdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The service is open, non-stop, from Mondays to Fridays, except on bank / public holidays.
Single taxi number :
01 45 30 30 30
Tourist information service :
25, rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris
M°14/7 : Pyramides M°1 : Tuileries
Others offices :
Gare de Lyon, Gare du Nord, Paris expo, Gare de l’Est, Anvers. Site internet : www.parisinfo.com Tél. : 0 892 68 30 00 (0,34€/min.)
Parc des Princes :
avenue du Parc des Princes 75016 Paris
Métro ligne 8: Porte de Saint-Cloud
PC Bus 22-62-72 : Porte de Saint-Cloud
Métro ligne 10 : Porte d’Auteuil
PC Bus 52 : Porte d’Auteuil
Stade de France :
360, avenue du Président Wilson 93200 Saint-Denis
Métro ligne 13 : Saint-Denis/Porte de Paris
RER D : Stade de France/Saint-Denis
RER B : La Plaine/Stade de France
only buy your tickets from official dealers. Beware of the black market: you may spend a lot for fake tickets!