Paris is a major city and generally safe. But like any modern urban area every resident should pay attention to his or her surroundings and take the normal precautions one would expect in a large city. Students, especially those who are not familiar with a new city, should make it a habit to learn about their surroundings, become familiar with the transport and street system, and always try to travel with friends or use the ‘buddy system’. These are all common-sense guidelines for anyone – whether in Paris or any major city.
However, if an unforeseen event occurs, here is some general information to assist you:
WHAT TO DO FIRST – MAKE A POLICE REPORT
All thefts and major losses should be reported to the police as soon as possible. Each of Paris twenty districts (arrondissements) has three or four police stations (commissariats); train stations also have one. You should go to the one which has jurisdiction over the area where the theft or loss occurred unless something occurs in the subway. In that case, you can go to any police station including the one located near the American Embassy at 31, rue d’Anjou 75008 Paris (Tel. : 01 42 65 23 13). The police will give you a ” recépissé de declaration de perte ou de vol ” (receipt for declaration of loss or theft). If you have lost your passport, identification documents and other papers as well as personal effects, you will receive separate receipts, one for your papers (pieces d’identité) and one for your valuables. The µport must be made in person. The police will not accept a report by telephone or from someone else on your behalf. Most police stations have English-speaking personnel; if you have difficulty making yourself understood in English, call the Embassy’s Office of American Services (Tel. : 01 43 12 45 18) to obtain a translator to help you. While it is unlikely that the thieves will be arrested as a result, it is important that you report this to the police. The police receipt is helpful and sometimes necessary in applying for the replacement of airlines tickets, EURAIL passes, passports, travelers checks, etc. It is also useful for supporting insurance claims.
HOW TO REPLACE CERTAIN LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS
Report the loss or theft immediately to the Paris office of the airline company. It is left to the discretion of each airline company whether or not to replace a ticket. In any case, replacement tickets are issued only after verification of the initial purchase of the tickets has been obtained by telex from the airline’s home office. Credit Cards Notify the Paris office of the issuing firm immediately.