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Decreasing Crime in Costa Rica; Tips & Advice

Costa Rica News - There are many things to consider when exploring new traveling destinations including the security in the country. For those thinking of enjoying some time in Costa Rica, security is one less thing to worry about.

costa rica safetyIn comparison to 2011, violent crimes in the country have decreased thanks to the collaboration of the residents and the government. An emphasis from the government on working with the locals to make the streets a safer place has resulted in a decline in the number of reported crimes.

From 2011 to 2012, the probability of a person becoming a victim of a violent crime decreased by 15 percent. Homicides have decreased from 473 in 2011 to 394 in 2012. Over the last 5 years there was a 40 percent decline in the number of stolen vehicles reported. As more people become informed they are taking preventing measure by putting alarms or tracking systems in their cars. Last year’s assault reports were the lowest they have been in the last five years.

Not all violent crimes have decreased. The number of reported rapes has increased from 2011 to 2012 by about 9 percent. This crime is difficult to target because often times the women do not want to continue with the legal procedure. A woman must be taken to the forensic building in San Joaquin de Flores in order to obtain the evidence, which can be miles away from their homes.

A 40 million dollar increase in the budget for the security department for this year and the accelerated process of revising a case are contributions to the decline in numbers. Technology has also helped with the reduction of violent crimes in Costa Rica. Now, you are able to report crimes using your phone to access the online forms, something that previously you were not able to do.  Another factor is the wider access to different areas due to a variety of transportation for police officers allowing them access to a wider spectrum of areas. (sea, air, and more land coverage)

Furthermore, better working conditions for the officers, benefits for their families and an increase in salary makes the police force less likely to fall into the dark, corrupt side of law enforcement in Costa Rica. As it is in life in general providing for your basic needs like food and shelter with your job is essential to keeping people on the straight and narrow path.

The fact is that the public is working hard to improve the security in their neighborhoods and this can only benefit tourists.

Although most of the below are common sense, some people leave their brain on vacation when they come to Costa Rica. Here are some helpful tips that can help prevent these types of crimes:

In the Streets

  • Do not wear flashy clothes or valuable objects that may grab attention
  • Avoid walking alone in the dark or in secluded areas
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash
  • If you are taking a Taxi make sure is the official Costa Rican red taxi with the gold diamond logo

 In the car

  • Frequently change the driving routes you usually take in case you are being fallowed  
  • Go digital, secure your car with an alarm
  • Install a GPS in the car

At Home

  • Lock the doors and windows before going to sleep or going out
  • Put valuables in a safe
  • Do not take strangers to your house 

By Brenda Soltelo

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