Which country has the highest pickpocketing rate in Europe?


The Trevi fountain in Rome is one of the most popular spots in Italy for pickpocketing incidents. — Photos: AFP

Italy may not be the most visited country in Europe, but it comes first in another infamous ranking – for its incidences of pickpocketing.

While the Paris transport system has put into place announcements warning of pickpockets in a variety of languages, there seem to be many areas popular with tourists throughout Europe that are rife with these criminals. And it seems that many tourists have fallen victim to this practice in Italy, with several mentions of pickpocketing in the vicinity of one of Rome’s main monuments, Trevi Fountain.

A Britain-based insurance company, Quote Zone, has analysed the proportion of mentions of pickpocketing for the top tourist attractions in European destinations frequented by the British population.

While some 3.8 million Britain-based tourists visited Italy between the first and third quarters of 2023, there were at least 478 reports of pickpocketing in the vicinity of the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum in Rome and the Pantheon.

Outside the Italian capital, pickpockets are also on the prowl, notably near Milan’s Duomo cathedral and Florence’s Uffizi museum.

France, meanwhile, is a distant second, despite 250 reports of pickpocketing, while 7.2 million Britons took a holiday across the English Channel between the first and third quarters of 2023.

According to Quote Zone, the highest-risk locations are near the Eiffel Tower. And with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games just around the corner, visitors from all walks of life will no doubt need to be extra vigilant when it comes to their personal belongings, and not just around the emblematic monument.

The research identified the Musee d’Orsay, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame de Paris and the Louvre as other hot spots for pickpocketing in and around the City of Light.

Spain comes in third place as the European destination where a stay can turn out to be very expensive due to your belongings being stolen. In particular, Barcelona and its emblematic avenue La Rambla, has been designated as a favourite spot for pickpockets. While the Sagrada Familia Basilica, as well as Madrid’s Plaza Mayor and the area around the Prado Museum are identified as other hot spots for tourists in Spain, the number of mentions of pickpocketing is well below those in Italy and France.

In Germany, the Brandenburg Gate was cited as a location to keep an eye on one’s belongings. – AFP Relaxnews

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