Safety in Dominican Republic

Planner the article did not say the cops killed the wrong guy, it basically says the gentleman who turned himself in, admits to comitting the crime along with the second suspect who is now in custody.....He never implicates the 3rd suspect who was initially shot and killed by the police, thereby leading me to conclude the 1st suspect had nothing to do with the murder of the German Tourist. 

      I have noticed many saying that these types of crimes can happen anywhere which is true, but we must admit there are many countries where crime is very low and these types of incidents are very rare....Japan is a very good example of this.  Japan only had 4 murders with a firearm in 2015.....Now how does that compare to D.R.? There is obviously some major issues going on in D.R. Mainly due to factors I mentioned in a previous post. As far as perception goes, that German had the perception that he would be safe outside his resort walls.  Why should the tourist not feel safe wearing his chain as he does in Germany? Especially if no one warned him or if he had done so safely in other countries? Like I said before, know the beast you are about to deal with before you venture out! The Malecon in general is designated as a tourist area, he was not in a barrio looking for why would he not assume he would be protected as a tourist in a tourist area? His perception was probably one of safety, but he obviously got it wrong.
Here is an article on why Japan has a low crime rate … low-2014-4

Kat11 i also agree with you a 100% but like I said before, it is a matter of odds. In some places the odds will be either in your favor or agaist you.  There will also be certain factors which will also lower or increase your chances such as, age, gender, wealth, dwelling.....etc You should not have to worry about these things, but may I ask you? Would you say that chances of something bad hapoening are increased in a place like the Middle East or certain territories in Africa? As compared to Japan?

      My point is there are realities which can't be ignored and taken for granted.....survival depends on many things, and mainly on the actions you take to insure it.  As a foreigner you will always stand out and in some cases seen as a target, if you can accept that and be aware then all is cool.
      I know both Bob and Planner have had their incidents there. Bob you mentioned a while back you had your chain snatched and thank goodness you did not suffer a horrible faith, and planner in your recent car accident if my memory does not fail me, you were pushed into oncomming traffic by another vehicle, then physically handled by the same irrate driver and thank goodness it did not go any further. Could this have happened in the U.S. Or Canada? Yes, but more than likely in both your cases these incidents might have been more based on opportunity and gender due to certain socio-cultural factors. There are definitely countries and cities where you can safely go about your bussiness and not fear someone taking your chain, but you must be aware of where you are and take the necessary caution, if you do not wish to proceed with caution, then you are pretty much gambling.

Quite right. It's just the PC line to say these things can happen anywhere. The reality is that some places are way safer, or more dangerous than others.

Here is a list of the top 10 countries with the lowest crime rates in the world. Would I feel safe wearing a chain there? Hell Yeah! It is cool to be PC, but let's not put on blinders to justify certain realities. … rime-rate/

Yep, there are definitely places I would not move to, ride through or walk through! But even on a normal day in my own town and what I feel are safe surroundings you have to be aware. When I finally get to the DR my Husband and I will get our routine down (or maybe mix it up to be safe lol!) of enjoying breakfast, shopping for fresh vegi and fruit, beach walk, afternoon drinks, dinner and more drinks:-)) and always be home before the crazies decide to get crazier lol!!

Honey you have my accident all wrong. I wasn't pushed I to traffic, I was turning left, almost stopped and was hit head on by a motorcycle doing 100 kmph. Then people stopped to help me and make sure I would be ok.

It wasn't at all what you remember, no one laid a hand on me they were helpful in a bad situation.

Anyway let's get back to staying safe. We can all agree that it isn't always safe here and that it isn't just here!

Now how do we improve the likelihood of staying safe?

My apologies then planner, for some reason I thought I read that you ended up having an altercation with a driver of some sorts....must have confused your story with someone else. You are correct the focus should be on educating folks on how to be safe while either living or visiting D.R. My one suggestion would be to at least have extra cash on you in some place other than your wallet or purse if you get robbed....most of the crime is a quick hit and by the time they ride off, you will at least have some cash left to get in a cab and get yourself to safety.  Money belts or Bra's with cash pockets work really well. :cool:

I like your attitude Kat..... :) be safe, be smart, and enjoy the adventure :cool:

No worries Massagewiz, all good!   

Good advice, split your money up.

So, we are coming into POP Saturday with my mother and the kids.  This is their first visit and I have to admit, I'm more nervous about safety with them along than I am when it's just my husband and I.  We get in around 7 PM and will be grabbing dinner on the way to the one night rental house.  And then my husband and I thought we might get to la sirena before they close to get our shopping done and leave early Sunday to the house in Cabrera.  Is this advisable?  If we have to wait until 9...and then leave Puerto Plata by 10...we're cutting into our otherwise short vacation...but, if it's risky then that's what we'll do.

Where are you staying?

Bob K

At a rental in la estancia

la sirena should be open till 10pm or so.

Bob K

You should be fine....

OK...we'll do some late shopping...😁


Bob K

USA is one of the most powerful countries of the world. It has been the world leader in so many aspects but the people in the country are still suffering from crimes- small and serious ones. The crime rate of USA has sparked to 73% compared to 2013. Street crimes are abundant, hate-related crimes, road accidents. Rape and smuggling are also some of the top crimes in the country.

Read more: … z4dE4AFGcO

I think much of U.S. crime is racially-motivated: resentment over the cruel enslavement of the blacks and the genocide of native Americans.  Both issues probably apply to the DR: the Island of Hispaniola was the scene of the original native American genocide inflicted by Christopher Columbus and his successors.  Then, they enslaved Africans to work on the plantations.  What horrible atrocities and the anger is not easily healed with continuing prejudices.

As an American, I beg to differ with you on the reason for our crime rate. I would say that most robbery is a result of poverty, lack of education, drug addiction or alcoholism. Murder can be motivated by any number of reasons and rape is generally always about power. Not everything in America is racially motivated contrary to what the media would like for you to believe. Just one American's opinion.

Let's get down to the heart of the issue. The   real issue is sin is at the heart of every man. This world is gravitating more and more towards an ideology that has nothing to do with Christ. Until we realize that education is not the problem and nor is poverty  those things have been around for many of years. Christ told us to days like these will come .

We will keep religion out of the thread please.

What is the best legal defensive weapon allowed for an expat that isn't a gun? Just curious. We don't have dogs...yet, but we only vacation there currently...but, still would like some defensive capabilities. I have come to love all the iron work on our doors and windows...

Dogs are great.  Bars are great.  Be very aware who you invite into your house.  People talk and say things others overhear, that can be risky for you.

In the streets be very aware of what is around you, who is around you.  Don't go into certain areas at night or alone!   Each area has those  places!   Its no different then other countries in that respect.

Weapons - good old machete.  I have them in my house / apt at all times.
Depending where i am going I carry mace.
I also own a taser that is on my bedside table. I do not carry it outside the house.

Be advised that using any or all of these can get you into trouble. What the law says and how it is used against us can be different.

I always have a lawyers name programmed into my phone, just in case it is needed!  Know who you will call in case of problems!

Thanks for posting, but unfortunately for me, none of those countries appeal to me.

It so happens that I have to use a walking cane to help me walk. So I bought a doorknob, filled it with pure cement and pressed it on a peace of broomstick cut to size. Let it dry well and it gives you a weighted stick. I do not know about the legality of it, but having a walking stick certainly is legal. Do not try to fly home with it however!

Since I also take a Rocky, half breed Pitbull, for a walk every day, I haven never had to use it in self defence. That is the best solution, get an omptessive but friendly dog and take it for a walk every day, so people get to know you as a dog owner. At night he guards our house as well, barking like crazy when he thinks anything is happening.

How well do you get known in your negborhood and beyond? A few weeks ago two men passed our house at night, and I could hear one of them say to the other one; "Aque no, aqui tienen un Rocky." (Not here, here they have a Rocky.)

In response to Planner's previous post about safety:

I live in a top rated place in the US, I do not yet have a carry and conceal permit, but I do keep my doors and windows locked at all time, including when I am in my car.  I have a home security system, a gun in the house, a ferocious barking dog, and keep a machete in my car at all times.  In the past, I have also carried pepper spray or mace, which at the moment, I have neither of as they were confiscated at the Canadian border.  I have also taken basic self-defense courses designed specifically for women. I try to be consciously aware of my surroundings at all times, even before walking out the door of my own home, or when loading or unloading items from my car in my own driveway.  To a large extent, I would like to believe that both my husband (a former Marine) and I also possess good street sense.  I am not paranoid, just raised by parents who taught me to practice good personal safety, which I have tried to pass on to my children.

To a large extent, what I'm trying to say is that I (we) do everything I know to do to personally keep myself safe, however, even in doing so, I know that that is no guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to me.  An example of this is my experience with the city of Samana, not the peninsula per se, but the city itself.  Without going into all the details, my husband and I traveled there last October.  We did our due diligence before traveling there and knew the area was "iffy", but decided to go and see for ourselves.  We stayed at a resort where numerous employees assured us it was safe to leave the premises and go into town, which was a very short walk.  We trusted their word.  Our thinking was why would the resort employees tell us it was safe if it wasn't.  That could potentially result in bad business for them, and they wouldn't want that, right?  And, after all, they had already told us certain places to absolutely stay away from.  So with some apprehension we decided to venture out and give it a try.  Afterall, that's what we were there for, to see the area.

That was mistake number 2.  The first mistake was listening to the resort employees to begin with.  The moment we hit the main street, the locals were on us like white on rice, and would not take no for an answer.  They (more than 1) actually followed us, hounding us for money the whole time.  One block of this and we turned and headed back for the resort with them still on our heels.  Definitely not a good situation at all.  I considered us lucky that we got out of there without anything worse than that happening.  When we reported this to the resort employees who had told us that it was safe, they merely grimaced and said, "Oh that's too bad.  The people are very poor and very hungry." 

Lesson learned:

Regardless of how informed or trained we may think that we are, regardless of how many precautions we may take, regardless of anything we have heard from others, nothing can prepare us for experiences that we have not yet had ourselves.  Prior to visiting Samana, I had even asked Dominican friends who live in Santiago about this area.  The response I received from them was, "Ah, you are going to love it.  It is very, very beautiful, but many of the people are very poor."  Not once did anyone communicate it is unsafe or dangerous.  Not once did anyone communicate do not leave the resort.  I've now come to understand that the words indigenous, poor and not a tourist area translate into a very different definition than what I previously held and it was only my personal experience that taught me this.

My advice to those looking to travel in the DR.  Listen to the advice that expats living in the DR give you.  They are there.  They possess a greater knowledge and understanding of the people and the ground situation, but even that's not a guarantee.  Due your due diligence to prepare yourself to the best of your ability.  However, proceed cautiously.  Unless someone is willing to speak plain language to you, your understanding of what they are saying can be completely different from what they are communicating, which could be PC or personally motivated.  And, as Planner always says, don't trust anyone!  Just because someone says something doesn't mean it's true.  And, regardless of what part of the world you are in, don't ever think that your mentality is their mentality.

Hope this helps someone.

Wantabe good post, and you are right about not trusting basically anyone till you have a relationship with them.
I always tell folks that you should have concentric circles of friends.  The inner most circle are those friends you trust with your life and can call on them whenever for whatever.  This is very a small number and for me here in the DR there are 4 of those. 
Next is the circle of good friends who you can basically rely on and you have common interests and actives with.  There can be a quite a few of those.
Then the circle of “friends” who you know, like and sometimes socialize with.
Then the circle of acquaintances who you may or may not spend time with.
People will move between these circles but very few are ever admitted into the most inner circle.
This scheme has worked for me no matter where we are living.

Bob K

So, I am getting some pepper spray and extra machete or baseball bat (used to come in handy when I is the national sport, right?) AND, most importantly, a wireless camera security system to cover our asses if we are forced to defend ourselves!

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