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European No-Go Zones Real Or Fictious?


BG2008
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I have read in the news about European No-Go Zones where the police cannot enter certain areas or regions without backup.  Do such a zone really exist?  Have they gotten worse after the recent migrant crisis?  If one is concerned about safety for his family while traveling aboard, what is the best way to avoid this?  I know we have quite a bit of a European constituent on this board.  Please share your experiences.  If you have details on Italy, it would be greatly appreciated. 

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I laughed when I read this, then thought - this is why it's so important that we all travel as much as possible - it's the only way to educate ourselves, because what we read or hear can often be exaggerated for effect (the media doesn't make money by saying everything was 'normal' today).

 

I think a number of Europeans might ask the same question about the US, with all the shootings we read about in supposedly safe spaces like schools, cinemas etc.  And if people are like the President, why they must all be so rude!

 

I have had wonderful times travelling through a number of states in the US, and the vast majority of people I've met have been incredibly charming.  But I might not have known that if I'd only read the papers.

 

BG2008 - I hope this is clear that I'm not having a go at you - just saying how misinformation spreads to scare us.  And what the others said - it's a common sense thing - avoid dark alleys on your own at night!  Tourist sites can attract pickpockets so don't flash your money around.

 

However, as ever, also DYOR (for specific cities).  e.g. If you're going to somewhere like Naples, then you do want to be a bit more careful than Milan.

 

I hope you have a great trip.

 

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I laughed when I read this, then thought - this is why it's so important that we all travel as much as possible - it's the only way to educate ourselves, because what we read or hear can often be exaggerated for effect (the media doesn't make money by saying everything was 'normal' today).

 

Agreed.

 

I think a number of Europeans might ask the same question about the US, with all the shootings we read about in supposedly safe spaces like schools, cinemas etc.  And if people are like the President, why they must all be so rude!

 

True, however I think it is a typical trait of some, especially older, Americans to view any country other than the USA as a shithole, to quote the president. I.e. they go to Norway or something, one of the safest and wealthiest countries in the world, and they worry about no-go zones, whether there will be running water, electricity and what to do if the streets are covered in horse manure because surely nobody owns a car there. Of course I'm exaggerating a bit but if you are born in a small, insignificant country it is much harder to develop such an attitude.

 

For similar reasons I think a lot of Americans are (too?) home-biased when it comes to investing. If you are born in Belgium or Costa Rica you are pretty much forced to invest in foreign companies (or at the very least companies operating outside your country borders) right from the start. If you are born in America you don't have to. That's not a bad thing in itself but the risk is that you start dismissing foreign opportunities without even looking at them. Chinese company? Surely it's a fraud. Fiat? Why would I buy that when I heard on the news that Italy is riddled with no-go zones? Something in Poland? Surely the communists will nationalize it?

 

But now I'm completely derailing this topic. I'll stop. Italy is beautiful. You'll love it. Don't worry.

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I have read in the news about European No-Go Zones where the police cannot enter certain areas or regions without backup.  Do such a zone really exist?  Have they gotten worse after the recent migrant crisis?  If one is concerned about safety for his family while traveling aboard, what is the best way to avoid this?  I know we have quite a bit of a European constituent on this board.  Please share your experiences.  If you have details on Italy, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you are worried about keeping your family safe I suggest booking a one way ticket to Europe, given that the homicide rate/inhabitant is an order of magnitude lower. Or perhaps those US numbers are just skewed by cops killing blacks, and there is nothing you have to worry about ;)

 

[/fox mode]

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For similar reasons I think a lot of Americans are (too?) home-biased when it comes to investing. If you are born in Belgium or Costa Rica you are pretty much forced to invest in foreign companies (or at the very least companies operating outside your country borders) right from the start. If you are born in America you don't have to. That's not a bad thing in itself but the risk is that you start dismissing foreign opportunities without even looking at them. Chinese company? Surely it's a fraud. Fiat? Why would I buy that when I heard on the news that Italy is riddled with no-go zones? Something in Poland? Surely the communists will nationalize it?

 

We're all guilty of this.  It wasn't that many years ago I told my dad that I had some investments in the US and he frowned and said, 'Isn't that a bit risky?'.

 

Sorry for going off-topic again...

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I can take you to a few No-Go Zones in East Cleveland as well, same with Cincinnati, and that's in urban areas.

 

Why don't you come out to W PA with me and we'll go driving down some rural dirt roads, the type of places where people come out of their house if they don't recognize the car and yell at you asking what you're doing.  I have on accident a few times turned onto barely passable dirt roads and I'm always met by a local who isn't happy I'm there.  And these are the types of locals who have an abundance of guns and spots to hide a body...

 

I've only been to Europe once, but it felt much nicer than the US.  We never worried about making a wrong left turn and being in a ghetto.  I did stumble on a gypsy camp, but it seemed like they kept to themselves.

 

In most of the Rust Belt it's common to have a guard at the entrance of a factory.  In most cases (now) this guard is making sure your car isn't stolen while you're working.

 

But like most places in the world, if you have street sense and can navigate away from those sorts of areas then America is incredible.

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"If you're going to somewhere like Naples, then you do want to be a bit more careful than Milan."  - Could you elaborate on this?  Could you elaborate on the pick pocketing?  Ways to lower the chance?  I've gotten my stuff stolen in Spain before.  It's annoying because you have to get new Drivers License, CC, etc.  Anything else I should be aware of? 

 

Generally, we're doing a Milan, Venice, Rome, and Florence trip

 

I want to clarify and give a perspective on my question.  If I had a good friend booking a flight to NYC and they said that they were about to book an Airbnb in East New York and will take the subway to Manhattan.  I would tell them "hold on a minute."  I would also tell them don't make eye contact with people asking for money.  Once you make eye contact, they know they've got you.  I have no idea what it is like in Europe.  As a value investor, I am just trying to do the best for my family with the research and risk mitigation etc.  In short, I don't want to book a nice AirBnb in the European equivalent of "East New York."

 

Yes, there are more No-Go Zones in the US. 

 

 

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In the simplest terms, it's a money/economy thing.  The north of Italy has much more than the south.  Naples is a relatively poor city, and has a certain historical notoriety.  It's certainly got its charms too, though, and I don't remember any problems when I was there en route to Pompeii.

 

Your trip sounds great, and should prove no problem.  If you're from NYC, then I really think you've nothing to worry about - I think anyone from a big city has all the street smarts/common sense they need for any place.

 

Y'know, don't have handbags open, keep your wallets in a safe place (or have one of those concealed belt ones for travelling), and be alert if you're in a packed bus crushed up next to others etc.  No different really from how I'd be alert on a subway.

 

I think the golden rule is 'be normal' i.e. try to blend in, and don't be too loud, so you don't attract attention to yourselves.

 

Sorry to hear you had your stuff stolen before.  Sometimes it's just bad luck, and there's nothing you can do.

 

Only other things I'd mention are maybe buy a paper guide book (just because I find the internet e.g. TripAdvisor to be unreliable) to read up on good places to stay and general neighbourhood info.

 

And also that if you're going in the Summer, Venice is INSANELY crowded (and I haven't been for a while) and Hot!  Florence will be pretty crazy too.

 

Traditionally, areas around train stations are also places to be a bit on your guard (a bit like I found with Greyhound neighbourhoods back in the day) as there are a lot of backpackers/tourists arriving and looking lost.  Nothing really to worry about though, just if someone tries to be friendly and help, I'm generally suspicious...

 

Hope that helps.

 

Memo to self - travel tips is easier/more fun than working..........

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BG2008,

 

Gio lives in Milan. I'm sure he would be up to some sincere travel advise to you, if you send him a PM. If you do that please ask him to reply in this topic for the benefit of us all. I think Uccmal was in Italy on vacation last summer. Perhaps he reads this and chim in.

 

We were on vacation in Rome in the summer 2012. Very, very nice and beautiful city.

 

I had heard about Italian pick pocketing before we went there, and to avoid bad luck I did buy a small one strap sling pack for that separate purpose. This one. Please note the zippers with two handles for two of the openings and rooms. Bought two tiny padlocks to lock the handles together for the two rooms/openings. And then nothing but the correponding keys in an attached leash in the pocket. Everything else [phones, cards, whatever] in the two padlocked rooms, and wearing the slingpack on my chest, not on my back.

 

I also always put one credit card in the safe at the hotel, for emergency purposes.

 

It can't hurt to ask at your host or hotel, if there are areas in the surroundings that are recommended to avoid.

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What no-go zones usually means here (if we are talking about Europe as one thing, as North Americans are wont to do) is not that it is extremely dangerous for civilians to go there; it is that it is hazardous for police and ambulance to enter without extra protection because they risk being attacked.

 

 

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The short answer is that No-Go zones in Europe are fictitious.

 

Just like anywhere the are rougher neighborhoods but even there you'll be just fine unless you make a total ass of yourself. But as others here have said you're unlikely to find yourself in one of those. Just as a reference, crime in the cities you'll go to is much lower than in any American city. So you really have nothing to worry about.

 

Pickpockets and hustlers are another thing altogether though and as an American you're likely to be a target. Law enforcement over the does a pretty good job keeping an eye out for these things. But unfortunately the large numbers and high skill level of these individuals means that pickpocketing is still a problem. So use common sense and be especially vigilent in and around major train stations.

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"If you're going to somewhere like Naples, then you do want to be a bit more careful than Milan."  - Could you elaborate on this?  Could you elaborate on the pick pocketing?  Ways to lower the chance? I've gotten my stuff stolen in Spain before.  It's annoying because you have to get new Drivers License, CC, etc.  Anything else I should be aware of? 

 

 

BG, 

 

I agree that is a big hassle... to avoid that I wear a money belt under my shirt containing my passport, DL, bigger cash amounts, and backup credit card.  If I am travelling alone I wear this pretty much everywhere and never separate from it.

 

In my pocket I keep a small wallet with daily cash needs, and the primary credit card or ATM card that I will be using.  If I get mugged or pickpocketed then then I still have my money belt with passport, DL, and my second credit card. 

 

I absolutely never leave my passport and other critical stuff in a backpack. Bags can easily be stolen when you are distracted for 3 seconds in a bus station or subway etc.

 

I have never been mugged or pickpocketed, but there have been a few attempts of the latter!  :)

 

 

 

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Not Europe or US, but we had the "spray tourist with ketchup and then rob them blind while pretending to clean your clothes" attempt in Buenos Aires. I knew about it, so I got away from the "good cleaning samaritan" asap. I've recently heard a colleague lost his backpack with laptop, documents, etc. like this.

 

Italy is nice. Have fun.  8)

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"If you're going to somewhere like Naples, then you do want to be a bit more careful than Milan."  - Could you elaborate on this?  Could you elaborate on the pick pocketing?  Ways to lower the chance?  I've gotten my stuff stolen in Spain before.  It's annoying because you have to get new Drivers License, CC, etc.  Anything else I should be aware of? 

 

Generally, we're doing a Milan, Venice, Rome, and Florence trip

I can see if you've been picked before you can be a bit paranoid. I've traveled extensively and never been picked. But then I've also lived in a bunch of places in Europe and I'm pretty good at spotting "riskier" situations. OK, tips:

 

The places you're going nobody is going to pull a knife or gun on you and rob you. If anything it'll be a quick pull. So it's actually pretty easy to avoid. Keep your phone and valuables in your front pockets (much harder to reach). You could do the under the shirt carrier thing, but that's overkill and annoying. Don't do the American bulging wallet thing. You don't need your Costco and American Airlines miles cards when on vacation.

 

There's no reason to have your bank card on you unless you're going to an ATM. Just carry some cash for the day and a credit card. But I would bring several cards with me. Sometimes your bank blocks them or you may get nicked. Carry one and leave the others at the hotel. Never carry your passport on you. If you're not driving don't carry a license. Btw, in Italy at a lot of places museums, etc you need to leave a piece of ID as deposit for audioguides and other stuff. What I usually do is bring a bunch of no longer valid drivers licenses with me to use. That way I don't care what happens with them. Oh, and no tablets. You don't really need them and they're really easy to nick.

 

Let's see what else? Be vigilent of people approaching you. These are usually scammers. A common scam in Italy is for these guys to act as if they work for the rail company or the subway and offer to help you. Usually to buy a ticket or whatever. Don't engage with them. In Italy workers of public transit don't care if you need help. Also in places where you may be at risk there will be Carabinieri (military police) and possibly actual soldiers. You can signal to them or walk over to them. It's totally safe. You won't get shot in Italy because a cop felt insecure.

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BG2008,

 

Gio lives in Milan. I'm sure he would be up to some sincere travel advise to you, if you send him a PM. If you do that please ask him to reply in this topic for the benefit of us all. I think Uccmal was in Italy on vacation last summer. Perhaps he reads this and chim in.

 

We were on vacation in Rome in the summer 2012. Very, very nice and beautiful city.

 

I had heard about Italian pick pocketing before we went there, and to avoid bad luck I did buy a small one strap sling pack for that separate purpose. This one. Please note the zippers with two handles for two of the openings and rooms. Bought two tiny padlocks to lock the handles together for the two rooms/openings. And then nothing but the correponding keys in an attached leash in the pocket. Everything else [phones, cards, whatever] in the two padlocked rooms, and wearing the slingpack on my chest, not on my back.

 

I also always put one credit card in the safe at the hotel, for emergency purposes.

 

It can't hurt to ask at your host or hotel, if there are areas in the surroundings that are recommended to avoid.

 

Thanks for the note.  I'll reach out to Gio

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The short answer is that No-Go zones in Europe are fictitious.

 

The newspaper, Bild, and the newsmagazine, Focus, among others, have identified (here, here and here) more than 40 "problem areas" (Problemviertel) across Germany. These are areas where large concentrations of migrants, high levels of unemployment and chronic welfare dependency, combined with urban decay, have become incubators for anarchy.

 

In an article entitled "Ghetto Report Germany," Bild describes these areas as "burgeoning ghettos, parallel societies and no-go areas." They include: Berlin-Neukölln, Bremerhaven-Lehe/Bremen-Huchting, Cologne-Chorweiler, Dortmund-Nordstadt, Duisburg-Marxloh, Essen-Altenessen, Hamburg-Eidelstedt, Kaiserslautern-Asternweg, Mannheim-Neckarstadt West and Pforzheim-Oststadt.

 

The problem of no-go zones is especially acute in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany's most populous state. According to the Rheinische Post, NRW problem areas include:

 

Aachen, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Bottrop, Dorsten, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Euskirchen, Gelsenkirchen-Süd, Gladbeck, Hagen, Hamm, Heinsberg, Herne, Iserlohn, Kleve, Cologne, Lippe, Lüdenscheid, Marl, Mettmann, Minden, Mönchengladbach, Münster, Neuss, Oberhausen, Recklinghausen, Remscheid, Rhein-Erft-Kreis, Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, Solingen, Unna, Witten and Wuppertal. -

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-27/merkel-finally-acknowledges-german-no-go-zones-vows-eliminate

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Did ZeroHedge unreliably quote the several German publications have documented the growing problem of "no-go" zones - areas in which it is unsafe for non-Muslim citizens to travel (above)?

 

Did ZeroHedge unreliably quote Chancellor Angela Merkel's interview with Germany's RTL Aktuell?

 

While on the topic of keeping Germany safe, Merkel said "It's always a point to me that internal security is the state's duty, the state has the monopoly of power, the state has to make sure that people have the right to it whenever they meet and move in a public space." ...

 

"That means, for example, that there are no no-go areas, that there can be no rooms where no one dares to go, and there are such spaces, and you have to call that by name and you have to do something about it.

 

And I think that Thomas de Maizière did a very good job as Minister of the Interior, but we also said now that we want a model police law, we can not stand by the different security standards in different states and that needs to be as unified as possible

 

Did ZeroHedge unreliably quote Rainer Wendt, President of the German Police Union?

 

"In Berlin or in the north of Duisburg there are neighborhoods where colleagues hardly dare to stop a car -- because they know that they'll be surrounded by 40 or 50 men." These attacks amount to a "deliberate challenge to the authority of the state -- attacks in which the perpetrators are expressing their contempt for our society"

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is my take on no-go zones:

1) They are real but they primarily impact government and police not tourists and this is why when you look for who actually complains about this...its all quotes from government and police.

 

2) Tourist people will never observe a no-go zone both because they aren't in places most people go and because they have no impact on normal people. A normal person would be unmolested in a no-go zone. But Police or government might have so many problems in no-go zones that they can't do their jobs effectively.

 

AFAIK, every single comment in this thread agrees with the statements above.

 

But, to imply that no-go zones don't exist or aren't a problem is ridiculous. A large number of the terrorists in Europe were found to come from  no-go zones....like for instance this one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sint-Jans-Molenbeek#Terrorism

 

Molenbeek is 5 square kilometers is size. Europe is 10.18 million square kilometers. Moleenbeek has 96000 people. Europe has 400 million people. So the probability of someone coming from Moleenbeek is

 

96000/400000000= 0.02% and yet the following terrorist incidents all involve terrorists coming from this one single area:

 

According to Le Monde, the assassins who killed anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud both came from Molenbeek.[12] Hassan el-Haski, one of the 2004 Madrid terror bombers came from Molenbeek.[13][14] The perpetrator of the Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting, Mehdi Nemmouche, lived in Molenbeek for a time.[15] Ayoub El Khazzani, the perpetrator of the 2015 Thalys train attack, stayed with his sister in Molenbeek.[16] French police believe the weapons used in the Porte de Vincennes siege the same day as the Charlie Hebdo shooting were sourced from Molenbeek.[17] The bombers of the November 2015 Paris attacks were also traced to Molenbeek;[18] during the Molenbeek capture of Salah Abdeslam, an accomplice of the Paris bombers, protesters "threw stones and bottles at police and press during the arrest", stated the Interior Minister of Belgium, Jan Jambon.[19] Oussama Zariouh, the bomber of Brussels Central Station in June 2017,[20] lived in Molenbeek.[21]...At least three of the terrorists in the November 2015 Paris attacks — the brothers Brahim and Salah Abdeslam, alleged accomplice Mohamed Abrini, and the alleged mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud — are men who grew up and lived in Molenbeek.

 

So obviously there is a huge problem in Molenbeek and it is a real life no-go zone. Incidentally the Paris and Madrid attacks alone account for more than 300 people killed and that is in a space of around 11 years. School mass shootings (>3 people dead in a single incident) in the US have a total death toll over 4 decades of less than 300.

 

So all the lefties ringing their hands over US school shooting seem oddly complacent about the European no-go zones though they seem to be causing far more mass death  and at a vastly faster rate than all the mass school shootings happening in the US.

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Here is my take on no-go zones:

1) They are real but they primarily impact government and police not normal people and this is why when you look for who actually complains about this...its all quotes from government and police.

 

2) Normal people will never observe a no-go zone both because they aren't in places most people go and because they have no impact on normal people. A normal person would be unmolested in a no-go zone. But Police or government might have so many problems in no-go zones that they can't do their jobs effectively.

 

AFAIK, every single comment in this thread agrees with the statements above.

 

You are correct, the direct problems with no-go zones (clan culture, Islamism, mob-like crime gangs, etc) primarily impact the inhabitants of the no-go zones. Middle-class people, journalists and cosmopolitans do not know any inhabitants of these areas and never ever go there. If they know any "ethnically diverse" people, those are among the few ones who are just as middle-class as themselves. These are the perils of a heavily socially stratified society, like all Western countries have become.

 

That's why university-educated professionals of the politician and bureaucrat class tend to think the problem is smaller than it really is. It's a real catch-22 when most of the people noticing the true extent of a problem do not have the verbal ability to convince anyone and much less the social network to do it.

 

Of course, now these areas have grown to the extent where they start to put big strains on the resources of all citizens. The health care systems are built for much smaller populations, the police force is too small and trained for other purposes, social services have no idea how to handle big cultural differences. And not least, we are starting to learn about the high trust that we have taken for granted and what it means for a society when that is slipping. Or worse: getting ethnically coded. So now we are finally noticing. 

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