TripAdvisor recently released a list detailing the 10 worst cities in the world for pickpocketing crimes. I’m sure you won’t be surprised at which city topped the list. Ready? Barcelona. The method of collecting data was a search through their online reviews for the word “pickpocket” (and translations of it) over the past 12 months.
Here is the full list, with last year’s spot in parenthesis:
- Barcelona, Spain (1)
- Rome, Italy (2)
- Paris, France (5)
- Madrid, Spain (-)
- Athens, Greece (9)
- Prague, Czech Republic (3)
- Costa Brava, Spain (-)
- Lisbon, Portugal (-)
- Tenerife, Spain (-)
- London, England (-)
TripAdvisor also provides some tips to avoid being a victim. A few include:
- Maintain vigilance, especially in crowded tourist areas and on public transport.
- If you must carry a purse or bag, choose one that you can carry across your chest.
- Store money and credit cards in a money belt around your waist or neck.
- Never leave a bag hanging on back of your chair.
Rather common-sense stuff. Here are some more advanced techniques to thwart those itchy fingers or possibly even robbers:
- Carry a dummy wallet – Load this up with a tiny bit of cash and expired credit cards and ID.
- Split your money up – Between your socks, wallet, money belt, travel partner, backpack, etc.
- Keep your hands in your pockets.
- Look confident. Keep your head held high and walk as if you’re a local.
Or, if you want to get high-tech and vigilante about it, you can try out this pair of jeans, designed by Shyam Chaurasia — a Varanasi school dropout. Thin copper wires, disguised as regular stitching, provide the path for the current, which is generated by a 3-volt battery. He says,
Whenever you want to use the kit just attach the two thin wires of the jeans with the hand-held kit that stores the battery and other small electronic items and switch it on. Those who try to put their hands into the jeans will get an electric shock and remove their hands quickly in a reflex action. Those wearing the jeans need not worry as they will not get any kind of electric shock while wearing the garment even when the switch is on.
[Image: Mike Schmid / Flickr]