“Noël” Campaign Against Pickpockets and Tricksters

Pickpockets and tricksters of both sexes are especially active at this time of the year. They benefit from the bigger crowds and from the fact that wallets are usually full and people are more carefree as we approach the holiday season. And pickpockets have their preferred locations to work: They are particularly active at tram stops when people are boarding the trams, in department stores and other shops, in crowded restaurants, and at the Christmas market. Often, a successful theft doesn’t even require much dexterity as people carelessly store their wallets in open handbags, shopping baskets, or the outside pockets of backpacks, making them easy prey.

With the “Noël” campaign, the Basel-Stadt cantonal police want to keep the number of pickpockets as low as possible in the run-up to Christmas. Police vehicles are stationed throughout the city center as bases for patrols and points of contact for the population. In addition, the presence of uniformed police officers will be increased, which has a deterrent effect on potential perpetrators. In addition to these visible measures, the “invisible” police are also in action as plain-clothes investigators keep an eye out for suspicious people and groups and try to catch pickpockets in the act. The “Noël” campaign has been an extremely effective tool in the fight against pickpockets and tricksters in recent years, with the police catching offenders of all kinds almost every day and the number of thefts was massively reduced as the operation continued.

The help of the population is important. Thefts and suspicious observations should be reported immediately via the emergency number 117. And of course, prevention is the best defense against having your wallet snatched: Make sure to carry it close to your body, in an inside bag of your backpack, or in a purse or bag that you can close with a clasp or zipper and hold in a secure grip at all times. The potential inconvenience of having to open and close your purse or root inside your backpack to get to your purse surely is less than that associated with having to replace stolen money, credit cards, and other documents!