Precautionary measures against robbers in Europe


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mi4nyang

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Nov 16, 2008
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#1
Hi,

Anyone has experience backing in europe before? Are the crime rates high over there?

What are the measures that need to be taken to prevent unwanted attention and especially since i am gona carry my gears and tripod?
 

night86mare

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#2
depends on the country

anyways, you can't avoid being obvious that you are a tourist, so just be alert, go not into dark alleys, read up beforehand to make sure that you do not wander into trouble areas (you can usually TELL)...... and for the most part of europe, you should be fine.

if you have done all that, and it still happens, then it's not really your fault.
 

mi4nyang

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i heard those cases occur particularly in Italy. So should my team fight back? Or do what? Heard they come in mobs... lol
 

hongjone

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#4
It's going to be fine as long as you are alert and exercise caution. Do watch each other's bag or back... They usually target people that wander alone, or a couple. Don't bring flashy camera bags. ;)
 

night86mare

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i heard those cases occur particularly in Italy. So should my team fight back? Or do what? Heard they come in mobs... lol
i went to italy before, no such thing happened

if you go looking for trouble, then it will find you, sometimes from what i hear to people, that is the case
 

Jun 3, 2008
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You would have to keep your wits about yourself. Avoid bad & dark places, trust your gut. If you don't feel safe, don't go, back down and change direction.

I wouldn't recommend that you "fight" back. Many situations like that is unknown, even though you might be a 2nd dan Black belt, I always believe in running away quickly. You never know what kind of a weapon, the enemy might draw.

Besides this, you might also get into trouble with the local law. Bear in mind, you are in other people's country, so you would need to respect all their laws. I know that you might be in the process of being "robbed" but the rule of reasonable force can be very vague. And who the cops will trust.

If your group is "biggish", try to divide into groups of 3-4 members. Sort of like mini-platoon, and assign buddies so that they can keep watch on who is where. Plus keeping an extra eye on each other camera bags or back-packs.

2 years ago in Barcelona, while walking in the city, my wife & I was "stopped" by 2 fake "plain clothes policemen". This was wayyy before I started photography..... anyway, my smart wife asked to look at the ID again. And I literally stooped down to look at it.....

Lousiest fake ID, I have ever seen. I quickly put my arms around my wife, and whispered, "fake, fake, let's go now, quickly!!". Lucky thing, they did not give chase. Talk about almost "**** in the pants". :sweat:

If I had been blur, blur and handed over the passport, then finished..... GAME OVER.

As a rule of thumb, in most "developed" countries. No plain clothes policemen would "routine-stop" tourists for fear of mis-understanding. Generally speaking, only full uniformed cops with a big badge, name badge and all the insignia plus a 9mm side-arm is the real deal.

Enjoy your trip in Europe, although there are a few stories floating here & there. Generally, it is still an ok place. Keep your eyes & ears open, but have fun.
 

Gengh

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#7
If you're going to be carrying a fair bit of gear and a tripod, there's not very much you can do to make you look less "attractive".

What you should do is just observe the generic advice of staying alert and practising common sense. In busy and more touristy areas, go ahead and carry your gear in the open but stay alert for pick-pockets, or people who seem to be stalking you. When you sense that you're moving into a less tourist-friendly area, keep your gears and, well, stay safe.

Even in very safe cities there'll always be dangerous areas. I think Europe's not too bad in general.
 

Mar 19, 2006
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#8
Met with quite a bit of pick pockets in France....
almost got hit in sleeper trains...:dunno:
must have one pax awake or on alert...

along the road and in the metro...
my group even manage to catch the pickpocket...
a very young ger and her fren ....:bigeyes::eek:

break up into small groups and walk.... with each group looking out for each other...
backpacks best carried in front...

this was my grp's experience 4 years ago....
 

Xing

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#9
hahaha.... most of you make Europe sounds like a theives paradise. To the TS, most of the touristy places are pretty safe, just exert your usual precautionary measures against pickpockets will do - keep expensive stuff out of sight, etc...

And just enjoy the trip :)
 

GavinTing

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Oct 16, 2007
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#10
Been to germany, france, switzerland, italy, london and some other places. If you are within towns and near the usual attractions, it's pretty safe. Just don't go around brandishing a solid gold DSLR and you'll be fine.
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#12
I have been to the following countries:

1. Most of:
a. Switzerland
b. Germany

2. About half of:
a. Austria
b. Czech Republic
c. Poland

3. Parts of:
a. Italy
b. France
c. England

What I can tell you:
1. Bring your common sense with you - No wallets in your backpocket, don't leave things lying around, secure your items when not in use etc.
2. Go to where the light is. Don't walk into dark alleys etc. You'd be surprised how many people don't abide by this simple adage.
3. Please don't naively accept offers from strangers, including kids.
4. Keep your brains/street-smarts with you.
5. Turn your radar on. Be AWARE of your surroundings.
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#13
i went to italy before, no such thing happened

if you go looking for trouble, then it will find you, sometimes from what i hear to people, that is the case
Don't trouble trouble unless trouble troubles you. That's what I say.

mi4nyang said:
i heard those cases occur particularly in Italy. So should my team fight back? Or do what? Heard they come in mobs... lol
Haha.. Italians are pretty friendly. I've never seen anything like that before. Just don't insult their culture. That, IMO, is the sure-est way to get a mob after you.
 

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