After the dramatic Cartier robbery in Monte Carlo followed by a horror of the fire at the famous Monaco Tunnel people might ask whether Monaco is really a safe place. For this occasion we asked Zsolt Szemerszky, the author of the Living in Monaco book.
MWM: On Saturday afternoon (March 25) at 15.40 the luxurious Cartier jewelry shop in Monte Carlo was robbery by three armed individuals carrying at least one firearm. During their escape attempt they set fire to their getaway car creating panic around hundreds of tourists. So how safe is Monaco nowadays?
Zsolt: Absolutely safe without any doubts. Even if it is a tiny pearl with its small location it offers ultra-high secured safety. And honestly you really feel this with every step you take. In almost every corner you can see police officers safeguarding your security, almost every building is protected by surveillance cameras so the Principality of Monaco is without no doubt one of the most secured place in Europe. Even the celebrities who are frequent visitors in Monaco are able to walk through without their bodyguards.
MWM: What do you think how this Cartier robbery change the opinion of the people?
Zsolt: When a young teenager throws an egg to someones door, it is hardly a news value. However when Justin Bieber does the same, it is all over the media. The same principle goes with Monaco. When an incident occurs in on of the safest place on Earth of course it is a news value. However it does not change the fact that it is still safe. I think people should read more about the prompt intervention of the Monegasque Police.
MWM: You mean by the fact that the Police caught one of the robbers?
Zsolt: Yes, the intervention was exceptional. Police received a call soon after 4 pm, and an armed intervention squad was on the scenes within minutes. They closed the borders of the Principality and the Polices forces interrupted the escape plan of the robbers. According to the latest information of the French media two suspects have been caught in Monaco over the night and another one in France. Exceptional job by the Monegasque Police.
MWM: You mention in your book Living in Monaco that people are often coming to Monaco from unsafe environments.
Zsolt: Yes, I believe one of the positive aspects of the Principality of Monaco is the care and the security that it offers for its residents. It is among the main key factors for many people who come to Monaco from unsafe environments. Once they realise all that Monaco offers for its residents they are willing to pay higher initial fees to find a secured and pleasant place for themselves and for their beloved family.
“When you relocate in the Principality it can be a very positive advantage for you that Monaco enjoys an extraordinary security. With its over five-hundred police officers in 1.98 km2, Monaco has the largest police presence in the world on both a per-capita and per-area basis. Not to mention Monaco’s 520 surveillance cameras.” – quote from the book Living in Monaco
First it might seem weird to see a police officer in almost every direction wherever your eyes look at, but it provides the great feeling of safety. In Germany when you need a police officer you call the central phone line and you have to wait until they send someone, while in Monaco they are there without hesitation if the situation requests it.
MWM: Do you see Monaco’s protective philosophy in different areas of life?
Zsolt: Absolutely. Personally, if there is one thing I have learnt it is that money is not the prime asset in life. Once you understand that love and care can not be justified by money, then you will start to seek for different qualities as well for yourself and for your loved ones. Monaco is one of the top centres for business in Europe, as well as being renowned for being a safe environment.
“The Principality of Monaco is very protective about its residents. For example without a police interview you can not even apply for a residence permit. This 365 days of protection in a year has developed a way of thinking as well, which is shared by many people from the past. This is the care and respect for others and other’s properties.” – quote from the book Living in Monaco
MWM: So how would you summarise the message of the weekend?
Zsolt: The conclusion was very simple for me: Crimes happened every time, yet Monaco is one of the safest places on Earth. But honestly, what should we expect? Can you imagine Las Vegas without poker tricksters and other cheaters? I do not think this could be possible and this is the way it is. However I raise my hat in front of the Government of Monaco and all the local authorities because they try to do as much as they can against such people.
As I previously mentioned one of the greatest advantage in the Principality of Monaco is that the police can act extremely quickly, and the police force is also allowed to step into a case which requires intervention.