Classical music scares off gangs

SNCF turns to Chopin and Mozart to chase youths and the homeless from platforms

2 June 2013

RAILWAY stations have started playing classical music on their platforms – with the unstated aim of chasing away gangs of youths and the homeless.

Stations on the Ile-de-France’s A, J and L lines have seen a drop in the number of gangs hanging about on platforms since they started playing classical music such as Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart.

The move, called “Choisissez l'ambiance musicale de votre gare,” asked passengers to vote on what music they would like to hear and the SNCF found classical music was heavily preferred to the “electro, rap and R’n’B” that young people liked.

An SNCF press spokesman denied to Le Monde that the aim was get rid of the gangs but news website StreetPress published quotes from the official SNCF blog for Ligne J which said the move had been launched to “restore order” and get rid of people “squatting” in the stations.

The move comes after France banned the Mosquito device that shopkeepers used to play high-pitched sounds to drive off gangs of youths. The sounds could only be heard by young people.

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