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City news, 16.04.2004 13:15

Police act to protect tourists

Police act to protect tourists In an effort to make Nevsky Prospekt safer as the peak tourist season starts, St. Petersburg police are introducing new measures to protect the city's foreign guests. In moves designed to shut down pickpockets and thieves, city police have bought extra patrol cars and have increased the number of beat policemen on the city's main thoroughfare.

In February, the police sent a memorandum to diplomatic missions in St. Petersburg entitled "Recommendations to Foreign Citizens Based in the Russian Federation."

"When your documents are checked, ask the police officer to show his service ID (write down the ID no. or no. of the police sign on his uniform)," the memorandum advises.

If your documents are confiscated by the police, demand a receipt that explains what has happened to your documents, it adds. "To avoid becoming of a victim of thieves, change your currency in official exchange offices only," article 7.1 advises.

"Keep your money hidden in the pockets of your suit or coat. Do not leave your money in bags or plastic bags," article 7.3 says.

"Don't carry large amounts of money around with you," article 7.9 says. "When you are paying for something do not pull out all the money you have on you - and try to conceal it from others' view," article 7.9 says.

The police have an office that deals with crimes committed against foreigners. It can be reached by calling 278-3014 or 02, the memo says. The office is located at 19 Zakharevskya Ulitsa.

"What is considered 'often,' 50 or two [foreigners calling] a day?" he said. "They don't call us, I don't know why. You should ask foreigners about it ... We have interpreters speaking German and English, international languages."

RST has its own recommendations on security for tourists:

- Avoid walking on dark streets, alleys, empty yards and underground crossings away from the city center.

- If you need to take money with you when you leave your accommodation, don't take large sums of money, only what you think you need that day.

- If you are attacked and people demand that you give them your money, hand it over with no regrets. Your life and health are worth more than cash. You may be carrying a weapon to defend yourself, but using it may not be to your advantage. Some attackers will run away, but others may become more aggressive. If you are attacked in a staircase, scream "Fire!" (pozhar!). This will get the quickest reaction from residents. If you witness a crime, do not interfere, but call the police as soon as possible (tel. 02).


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