Europe is a travelers dream. The history and romance are alluring. There are countless different cultures, languages, and ethnicities - it is easy to see why Europe is intriguing. With the formation of the European Union, travel between many countries has become a breeze.
But with this change, a bad wind also blows. Many of the hottest European travel spots have long had their fair share of pickpockets. Ever since the opening of the EU borders to Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, it has become not just easy for tourists to travel between countries - it has also become easy for gypsies that specialize in pickpocketing to travel as well. This phenomenon has been well documented in Italy, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. There has been a massive swell in gypsies travelling to tourist destinations in order to pick pockets.
I personally was approached by a beggar in Krakow, Poland during a trip in May. This older woman was very aggressive and got directly in my mother’s face. My mother was stunned. She didn’t move - she didn’t know what to do at all. I knew immediately that this was a bad situation and that an accomplice may be nearby, about to use her confusion and take the opportunity to steal from her pockets or purse. Thankfully, I acted quickly and pulled my mother out of the way, and we walked hastily down the street, far from the scene. Had we been wearing Clever Travel Companion clothing with hidden pockets, this scene would not have been as frightening as it was. You can bet that the next time we travel together, we will both be wearing our underwear with pockets!
What has been your experience in Europe? We love to hear your stories, so please comment below!
We made this infographic to break down the stats for you.
I have a wealth of data to share with you regarding pickpockets and muggings in Europe. The information is divided by area (Western, Southern, Northern, and Eastern Europe). Take a look for yourself and see what the crime statistics are.
Top 5 Western European Countries for Pickpockets (thefts per year)
Germany - 1,894,889
France - 797,217
Netherlands - 648,015
Belgium - 244,140
Switzerland - 161,262
Top 5 Southern European Countries for Pickpockets (thefts per year)
Italy - 1,066,669
Spain - 165,297
Greece - 119,078
Portugal - 102,271
Croatia - 37,598
Top 5 Northern European Countries for Pickpockets (thefts per year)
United Kingdom (England and Wales only) - 1,318,594
Sweden - 379,494
Denmark - 191,933
Norway - 133,492
Finland - 113,296
Top 5 Eastern European Countries for Pickpockets (thefts per year)
Russia - 1,038,566
Ukraine - 254,755
Poland - 230,751
Hungary - 130,229
Czech Republic - 119,367
Clever Travel Companion
Wow, how creepy! Good for Tami.
My husband and I traveled to Rome two summers ago. My friend traveling with us, who had the habit of resting her hand IN her purse, felt another hand in it while on a crowded bus coming back from Trevi Fountain. She said, “Hey!” and smacked him. He just shrugged his shoulders and moved away. When I got back to the hotel and was looking at my iPhone pics I’d taken on the bus to post on Facebook, I found a series of five pictures of the pickpocket as he made his way from the back of the bus to the front. You can almost see his intent on his face. I believe he spotted her and thought she’d be an easy target. The fool didn’t know Tami!