Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart scare French gangs at stations

4 June 2013, 11:12 | Updated: 4 June 2013, 12:32

Stations in France are allowing passengers to choose the music, preferring classical pieces over other genres in the hope they might deter gangs of youths.

Stations on France's A, J and L train lines have seen a drop in the number of gangs since the sounds of Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart have been heard on the platforms. The project, titled 'Choisissez l'ambiance musicale de votre gare' (Choose the background music at your station) aims to 'restore order' and get rid of people 'squatting', according to a blog from France's state-owned railway, the SNCF.

"We will be broadcasting classical music in some stations in order to improve the atmosphere, and introduce people to art and culture," an SNCF statement explained. "A trial period has shown that travellers value a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere."  

Passengers are now being urged to vote online for their favourite piece from a selection of seven choices, including Chopin's Nocturnes, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. The top three choices will be played at Elizabethville Mureaux and Val d'Argenteuil stations on Line J, among others.

France recently banned a Mosquito device used by shopkeepers to deter gangs from loitering on their premises. Due to the high frequencies emitted, the sounds could only be heard by young people.