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Crime and its effect on choice of travel destination

Crime and its effect on choice of travel destination

Old Nov 1st, 2015, 04:58 AM
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Speaking of blow-hardy…

Comparing Britain to the U.S. is a laughable exercise, since the State of California is larger than Britain. If you feel nervous about guns when you visit America, I would say you're a nervous-nelly. Pure paranoia, and a distorted sense of reality.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:15 AM
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ann: >> it strikes me as ironic that some americans [which I suspect the OP to be] get their underwear in a twist at the thought of being the victim of a minor scam or pickpocket, but don't seem worried by the prospect of being shot in the US by a passing robber or lunatic, or even a cop who just didn't like the way they looked at him.<<

Wouldn't it be natural to be more concerned about, statistically speaking, petty crimes than about much less rare violent crimes?

And NYC notes, to the average American, gun violence is so rare that it's something no one thinks about until it shows up in the news. And if you look at the statistics, most gun violence is (a) suicides, (b) between people who know each other or (c) in places -- like the sites of drug deals -- that most people would never find themselves in.

That's what makes your last sentence, and St. Cirq's pomposity, so pointless.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:19 AM
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the only one that "nailed it" here is Rein the OP. In a brief post he summed up the scene on this forum so well...not really a travel forum at all...so many braggarts (names not necessary everyone knows them), Anti American sentiment turned into gun debate and so much more but so few real replies. Yes Rein hopefully you can find some travel help elsewhere. Can't believe Fodors still keeps this private club Forum open.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:24 AM
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Lois: And it's beyond amusing when someone asks about a situation in Europe, and the response is, "Well, in America ..."

Some people seem incapable of answering any inquiry w/o bringing up the US and the faux-knowledge that have of it. Next time someone asks a question about restaurants in Italy, I'm going to point out how bad the food is in England. Or the dentistry.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:31 AM
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In recent decades, an average of less than 500 people <i>worldwide </i>have died in commercial plane crashes each year. All plane crash deaths, including those involving private planes, is about double that.

More than 30,000 people <i>in the US alone</i> die from gunfire each year, including over 10,000 homicides.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:33 AM
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<i>To the average American individual, gun violence is extremely rare.</i>

I would agree that gun violence is so rampant in the US that the average American individual doesn´t think about it much. However, for the over 11,000 human beings shot to death in the USA so far this year, gun violence is not rare enough.
http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

Paris is very safe but pickpocketing can occur. Loss of one´s valuables is a risk but a risk that can easily be managed. The key is to take simple precautions: limit what you carry, use wallet holsters or similar protective devices, and keep you valuables secure.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:48 AM
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>>However, for the over 11,000 human beings shot to death in the USA so far this year, gun violence is not rare enough. <<

And that has what to do with the statistical unlikelihood (divide 4000 non-suicides by 300,000,000) of being killed by a gun?
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:51 AM
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<i>And that has what to do with the statistical unlikelihood</i>

Over 11,000 deaths have nothing at all to do with statistics. It is a body count which grows almost hourly.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 05:55 AM
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Since twisting words, pointing fingers, and one-upping is the game here, let me state unequivocally that I'm no fan of guns. I am not a member of the NRA, and typically, I work against their cause.

Since bvlenci takes pride and effort proving me wrong every chance she gets, I will admit I did not take the time to check on the stats to back up my airplane crash/gun deaths supposition. The actual numbers did not matter to me, it's the perspective that matters.

As vincenzo noted, suicide is the #1 cause of death by a gun in America. I think it is a real shame that we don't have laws to support euthanasia, but that's another thread, and American attitudes are changing. And gun deaths around the drug trade, well, who among us on Fodor's has any contact with that?

Again, this thread is focused on personal bias.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 06:05 AM
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interesting, I thought the question was about safety in Europe from someone living in the US.

Hence the need for comparison, safety is not an absolute it is a relative. I read very little vitriol or indeed anti-American of anti-European commentary here. Just questions and answers.

BTW the mock orange beat me
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 06:14 AM
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>>Over 11,000 deaths have nothing at all to do with statistics. It is a body count which grows almost hourly.<<

Wait, "11,,000" has nothing do with "statistics."?
Very profound. And certainly appropriate for advice on a travel board.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 06:25 AM
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<i><font color=#555555>"I thought the question was about safety in Europe from someone living in the US"</font></i>

Looks like someone <i>assumed</i> that the OP was asking the question from an American perspective. You know what they say about people who ass-u-me?

I don't think it really matters. Petty thieves attack tourists, and most tourists in Europe are not Americans.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 06:48 AM
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"to the average American, gun violence is so rare that it's something no one thinks about until it shows up in the news."

That is presumably why some states have "open carry" laws, and some lobbyists suggest the routine arming of teachers.

My understanding of crime statistics is that there has been a reduction in most crime in most developed countries, and the reason for this is widely debated. Meanwhile crimes such as internet fraud have increased, although these are more difficult to count. The crimes most likely to affect tourists are pickpocketing, bag snatching and the like. They occur most frequently when there are crowds of people, mostly tourists unaware of local customs and habits, and it is easy to distract victims.

I have lived in Europe for 70 years and have visited Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Prague, Venice and Florence, all without being the victim of crime, and have found the vast majority of locals to be as honest, friendly and helpful as the people at home in the U.K. The same is true of my visits to the United States.

However, someone I know had his i-pad stolen in the CD section of Blackwells bookshop in Oxford, so you can never be 100% safe.

My advice would be to take reasonable precautions wherever you go, and don't think the best sights are the place crowded with the most tourists.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 07:45 AM
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>>interesting, I thought the question was about safety in Europe from someone living in the US.>>

Why? Because of a reference to a UK-based link?
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 07:51 AM
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I am a reasonably cautious person and would not travel in war-torn or politically dangerous places.

That said, no way would I let fear of petty street crime keep me from going to Paris or Rome!!

I've never been to Rome, but have been to Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Geneva... honestly didn't give a thought to "crime" other than using normal common sense precautions when traveling (or at home for that matter here in Seattle).

Yes so far anyplace I've visited has been "worth it". That's an understatement.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 08:11 AM
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The 11,000 figure I quoted above didn't include suicides. In 2013 there were 11,208 deaths by homicide by gun, 21,175 suicides with a firearm, 505 accidental firearm deaths and 281 deaths by guns with an undetermined reason. This excludes lethal interventions by law officers and "justifiable" homicides. Figures from the Centers for Disease Control.

I can't find that figure further broken down by whether the homicide was drug or gang related or not, but I found another statistic that said that close to 6,000 people died in drug-related homicides (not just by gun) between 2006 and 2010, about 1200 per year, which would mean that probably only a little over 10% of those homicides were drug related. I also saw figures of an annual average of 2000 (low estimate) to 3000 (high estimate) gang-related homicides per year (averaged over 2007-2011), but there's probably a lot of overlap with the drug homicides, and again this included all weapons. Obviously, more than half the gun homicides were not related to gangs or drugs.

It's fairly clear that the fall in violent crime rates in developed countries is due to the aging of the populations in those countries.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 08:43 AM
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Frankly I had avoided this thread because of the title. Also the fact that the OP did not provide his/her location in the profile made it seem unworthy of any comment. At the same time, I must confess that this sort of topic automatically makes me feel that the OP is from the United States. And that makes the topic even more questionable in terms of thinking "is the OP looking for a safer place than home?"

As for crime, I have been mugged in Paris and Johannesburg.
As for pickpocketing, I have been pickpocketed in Paris and Saigon. People who want to worry will be delighted to know that I was on medical leave for 18 days after the Paris mugging and spent 8 days in the hospital to get my nose put back together.

If this makes you think that Paris is a dangerous city, I should say that I have lived here for the past 42 years, so that probably makes it the most likely place for crime to happen to me. Frankly, I was careless in 3 of the 4 incidents, and they would not have happened if I had followed the most basic advice about such things. Grrrr -- Johanesburg! - I was such an idiot because I did the opposite of what the Lonely Planet guidebook told me to do. The only "surprise" was the mugging in Paris, right in front of the building where I lived (but at 1 a.m.). I confess that I was not expecting that, but do most of us usually expect a mugging where we live?

None of these incidents changed my opinion of the city in question and I have returned to all of them with pleasure.

I am a bit worried about NYCFoodSnob because he reminds me much too much of that man in <i>The Meaning of Life</i> by Monty Python. I'm pretty sure that there must be a physical resemblance as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJZPzQESq_0
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 08:44 AM
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From one of Rien63's other posts

"It's interesting how here in the States we've come to believe certain dishes are authentic Italian and really aren't, like spaghetti and meatballs and fettucine Alfredo."

So she's American.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 08:55 AM
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O, O, O, Kerouac...so glad my breakfast was over!

In Spain earlier this month and alerted a fellow tourist that his camera strap was dangling out of the unzipped picket of his backpack...clueless. DH noticed a fella
just about to dive into a gaping tote bag. He yelled and the guy aborted his attempt.

Been going to Paris and Rome without incident since before most of you were born,
however I follow the usual precautions and so far they have been enough.
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Old Nov 1st, 2015, 11:22 AM
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For most people - even tourists - from developed countries visiting another developed country the chances of being a victim of crime (apart from overpriced taxis & tips) is minimal.

Yet the people who worry about pickpocketing in Rome will be happy to visit Mexico or the Caribbean without a single qualm - or keep a loaded gun in their unlocked bedside drawer.
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