It has come to this as I am planning to tour Europe: "What personal protection/safety tools can I use in Europe?" Knives, batons, pepper spray, clubs, bricks, stones, sticks?
It is incredibly sad to see Europe that I knew in my childhood days turn into a haven for scams, pickpockets, theft, etc. these days.
I had my own personal experience in Amsterdam onboard the train going to Schiphol Airport. A 2 man team distracted me and took my backpack. I managed to get my wits around me and realized quickly what had happened, and went after the man with my backpack to retrieve it (raised a lot of ruckus, and yelled to attract attention).
I'm not interested in "be trusting and enjoy your time" type of advice, as that clearly isn't the experience I am starting out with. Yes, I have Rick's traveling silk money belt :-)