Paris Police Have Arrested 1,500 Pickpockets On Metro Since January


So far this year French police say they have arrested close to 1,500 individuals for pickpocketing on Paris’ metro system as plainclothes police attempt to address the problematic criminal element on the city public transit system.

The number of arrests for theft on the Paris metro rises substantially in the summer according to police, due to the number of tourists travelling to the city, with last year seeing a total number of 2,130 people arrested for various crimes on the metro including thefts and violent assaults France bleu reports.

Around 1,000 plainclothes officers patrol Paris’ large metro network every day with a large network of CCTV cameras coordinated by the publicly owned company RATP who manage the metro system.

Commissioner Thierry Hue-Lacointe, who heads security in the department of Val-d’Oise said the cameras have led to many suspects being identified and arrested saying, “You have to know that almost everything that happens in the metro is seen and recorded and that the probability of a criminal getting caught is much higher than in the street, where there are fewer cameras.”

Pickpocketing is not the only crime that has become prevalent on the Paris metro. Plainclothes officer shave also reported numerous sex attacks, specifically on lines 2, 4, and 13 with one officer name Fabien claiming that most of the sex attackers came from a migrant background.

“For more than ten years that I have done this job, the suspects I have arrested are a very, very large majority from a North African origin,” he said.

Drug dealing and other problems related to drugs are also issues in some stations on the metro leading to drivers refusing to stop at certain stations due to potential danger to both employees of the RATP and passengers. The RATP union UNSA also claimed earlier this year that the number of violent attacks on RATP staff had seen a substantial increase.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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