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Is France a safe country? Let’s find out, shall we?
From splendid art, to tasty food, amazing wines, sophisticated cuisines, beautiful cities and a charming culture. France; situated in the western edge of Europe (encompassing Medieval cities, Mediterranean beaches and Alpine villages) receives roughly 200 million international visitors annually hence ranked the most visited country in the continent and the world over!
This is due to the multiple tourist attractions like the Eiffel tower (widely known as a symbol of the country), Louvre( the largest art museum in the entire world), Disneyland, The palace of versailles, Pont du Gard, to mention but a few.
On addition, the country receives an estimate of 370,000 foreign students which is a significant increase on the country’s population (67.39 million people).
Given the population of tourists, international students and the country’s own population, France is overwhelmed with people of different cultural norms and beliefs which creates a question in the country’s security.
The Country’s Security
France is generally a low crime country with inner city areas and a few suburbs rendered completely safe at all hours. The security question however arises in bigger cities like Paris whose murder rates are approximately twice those in the neighboring countries which is quite alarming.
Paris and other large cities within the country are full of pickpockets, credit card skimmers, vandelizers and drug traffickers, buglers and therefore one should always take precaution in order not to fall a victim.
The country is sometimes considered notorious due to the planned protests and strikes that grind the city to a halt.
France has put in place different security measures like the operation Sentinelle and plan Vingipirate.
The plan Vingipirate is based on development of culture of individual and college security extended to the entire society, creation of three levels adapted to the threat and made concrete to the public, and the implementation of measures reinforcing government action against the threat of terrorism.
As part of the Operation Sentinelle, and as a compliment to plan Vingipirate (a permanent means of Prevention, protection and remaining alert and plays a role in fighting terrorism in the country), French police and gendarmes, backed by the soldiers from the country’s army always patrol sensitive spots like landmarks, train stations, airports and the Paris subway.
This is basically done due to the previous terrorist-attacks but it also scares away pick-pocketers and other potential snatchers in the vicinity, therefore creating a safe haven for tourists and citizens around.
Security guards are also deployed at institutions of learning to ensure that bags of individuals entering the premises are thoroughly inspected before they do so.
Create Your Own Security
As an individual, you are partially accountable for your security, its not all about being guarded by the army or police entirely.
You can therefore try as much to follow some security reflexes during your stay in the country as a tourist, student or simply a visitor in order to be safer.
Below are some of them;-
1. Avoid walking alone in deserted areas and at night.
Lonely places are always occupied by drug traffickers and this kind of people is capable of doing anything regardless of whether you are female or male and it could be worse in the dark.
2. Download the SAIP application.
This is an alarm and information application for populace in cases crisis. It was designed by the Ministry of the interior and it provides one with critical info and guidelines during emergency cases.
3. Memorize Emergency Numbers
France, like any other country has emergency numbers which you can contact in case you needed help. These include: –
112: The European Emergency Number you can contact this number when you are a victim of an accident or a witness to one in any European country.
15: SAMU number this is a medical emergency line and you can contact it in case you need help from a medical team in cases of life threatening situations.
17: Emergency Police number you can contact this line in cases of criminal offenses that require immediate intervention of the police.
18: Fire brigade. This could be contacted in cases of accidents or life threatening danger to a person.
Having these numbers at your finger tips while residing in France will definitely save your day!
4. Stay away from political rallies and demonstrations
These gatherings are usually unpredictable since they usually attract huge crowds of people from all aspects of life and therefore chances are high that violence could be insighted.
Staying away from such gatherings is better than nursing wounds or even loosing your life.
5. In cases of emergencies, do not panic;
First ensure that you are safe after which you could contact your relatives or even your Embassy for more protection if you are not content with where you are.
6. While in public places like restaurants, make sure not to talk at a high note because this could attract you unnecessary attention.
Try to be polite with the waiters and never wave your hands at them as this is considered a rude gesture.
Conclusion: Is France a Safe Country?
According to data from the institute for economics and peace, France is ranked the 66th safest country out of 163 in its global peace index 2020 were countries were graded basing on 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators including: – political terrorist, incarceration, violent crimes among others.
Nonetheless, its safety poorly ranks 31st out of the 36 European countries but even so, France is generally a safe and welcoming country.
Ladies traveling solo too can feel safe in nearly all the places they go to within the country for as long as they follow precautions. France is therefore a safe haven!