This Friday was not the best day to be visiting Paris, as its main attraction, the Eiffel Tower, was shut down for most of the day, as staff protested against the pickpockets that have turned the area from under the tower and around it into a European Wild Wild West.
The protesters pointed out that the situation has become harder and harder to bare lately, as the pickpockets work in gangs that sometimes have fights among one another. Furthermore, the staff of the Eiffel Tower are often the victims of various threats from these people.
“There have always been pickpockets at the Eiffel Tower, but we are now facing an organized network”, said a representative of the staff’s union.
Therefore, they are demanding that the state supplement the police presence at the biggest tourist attractions, as these are the pickpocket hotspots, particularly to the Eiffel Tower, that is the single most visited place in Paris and that is filled with tourists at all times.
The protest started at 09:30 AM, the local time, and lasted for almost the entire Friday. The Eiffel Tower was eventually reopened in the evening, to the great delight of the people who were only in town for the day.
One of the reasons why pickpockets frequent these places is because tourists are always much more promising potential victims than locals. This happens because they are required to carry around cash with them, as opposed to the French, who have most of their money on bank cards.
Furthermore, tourists tend to act inattentively with their bags because the main thing distracting their attention is the French architecture. When the tourist is in awe with the grand Parisian beauty, It is the perfect time to strike.
The Eiffel Tower is particularly convenient for pickpockets, because most of the tourists tend to look up towards the tall tower. This when a hasty sharp movement of the hand may be rewarded with the holiday money of those who are not being careful enough.
Furthermore, there are people selling souvenirs all around the Eiffel Tower area, and they offer valuable information to the pickpockets as to where the tourists keep their money and how their bags open. It is likely that some of the people in the thieving groups are assigned to observe these particular moments.
Then comes the immense queue where all the tourists are lined up like sitting ducks, happily discussing the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, while the excitement and the long waiting time determine them to look up at the tower yet again, to look at where they are about to get in a matter of minute. At this point, they are ripe for the picking, the pick-pocketing that is.
So if you find yourself at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, take a minute to gaze upon its greatness, take two or three even, but only after you are sure that your money is in a very safe place at the bottom of your bag, in a secret compartment or in some other creative place. Also, remember that the right time to buy souvenirs, if you really must do it, is when you’re leaving the Eiffel Tower, not when you’re just getting there.
Image Source: corporatetravelsafety