How can expats help fight crime in Costa Rica?

Hi, my name is Terri and my husband I am live in White Rock British Columbia and have bought a 2nd home in Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula.  We have traveled extensively and never any place twice except for Costa Rica because though small is diverse, lush, beautiful and friendly. We have never gotten tired of it so made the decision to buy a home in one of our favourite spots. We did buy eyes wide open, not long after a young woman was murdered on the beach. We also had heard of the other violent crimes and yet felt that we had never felt unsafe and in fact had just wild camped all over Costa Rica the year before and we are a 60 year old couple. In all of our years we have never once felt threatened or unsafe and it has saddened us to know that some people are not coming to Costa Rica because it has become a dangerous place.
What can we do as expats and owners of property and people who care about this beautiful little Country and its people to help stop crime. Do we need to pay more property taxes or give a certain amount of money per month towards policing. You and I have invested here, some have families here, we all want a safe Costa Rica, is there a place that we can talk amongst ourselves to see this solved?

I think all we can do is assure people that it is NOT a dangerous place. If you look at the crime per capita, with some increases over the past years, it is still low.
Furthermore, many times the people who are killed are killed or assaulted are victimized because they associated with criminal elements or because they did something stupid like tell their neighbors they have a safe full of money in their house...

I don't think there's anything you can do, as a legal resident, to really change the government at a national level. We're a very small minority and don't even vote and I think there may even be something in the law about how we're not supposed to get involved in political campaigns. (Not sure about that.)

At a local level though you could organize neighborhood watch programs and that type of thing.

However, it's not really unsafe here in Costa Rica. In the bigger towns - especially San Jose - one shouldn't wander around in high crime areas, and should get in and out of official taxis, not walk around. That's true in all cities in the world pretty much. If your area does have a high crime rate then maybe work with the Ticos to petition the mayor to spend more on police and help organize neighborhood watch programs.

I think if one doesn't hang around criminal elements, doesn't walk around at night, and doesn't wear fancy clothes and jewelry, one will be very safe here.

:)  well said san Ramon ,,
statistically the crime rate per capita is NOWHERE near  where I used t live in Los Angeles where shooting people for fun on freeways was a great pastime for some ...and as far as what we can do... lets not have some newbie suggest WE have enough money to just GIVE to Ticos ..I am on a limited budget and maybe that couple are NOT,,BUT that is just what the government here wants to hear HOW RICH all of us "Gringos" why not descriminate with prices ? AS IS THE POPUAR pastime here.
After living here 32 years I have learned that you are called a "Tonta" or "Tonto"if you just hand Ticos  (or the govnmnt $$$ ) They already have the misconception that we ALL have a dollar tree in our garden..I DO NOT, and learned from an ex Tico husband how NOT to be called a Tonta ( Idiot ) as I once was for  my first 2 years here..I would give anyone who rang the doorbell    and told me a phony "sob story " or had an "emergency   a free ride to wherever..even if I was in the middle of lunch etc,, Yes Indeed I was the epitome of a  "Tonta"
And I used to give, as we do in England,  every family on our road, a Huge Basket of expensive goodies for Christmas...thinking they were all Poor Ha ha ( I later learned most were from a rich family who once owned the property we bought as well as some  other properties.
My ex (a Tico who left for the Usa at age 6 months so was really not of the sme mentality) tried to warn me that I was creating  a monster and how true that was...He used to take the bus to work and was embarassed to tel me that many Ticos would point to our house (Notknowing he also lived here at the time )  and snickering as they aid oh just ask he Tonta there she will giv yu anything...or  be yur free taxi.. YESit HURT to hear ..butwat hurt morewas whenI suddenly had togobackto England for free Cancer surgery..for 6 hospital...and my ex called me daily .When I asked  him if the neighbors were giving a tamale for Christmas; he laughed as he told me  " NO  but they know you are in Hospital with Cancer but  each famiy  had rang the gate bell several times  demanding  "WHERE IS OUR  CHRISTMAS BASKET"
Of course when I stopped  giving the baskets...I was then a bad woman ...true so just saying.... we learn as we go.....My ex also tried to tell me the women CHOSE notto work as we had offered them often...but they would ather have babies fom different men who then MUST  pay them  a monthly " Pension" until the chlid is 18.. So no need to work...I found that to be hard to believe ...but true   Many of my neighbors drive BRAND new BMW's  or Mercedes,  which cost around $65,000 ..not exactly poor eh?
  However there are a few I learn to semi- trust but REAL  friends ? nope., except   when giving something  or buying lunch ,.
.My friends around the world  whom  I love dearly, at least 25 of them  and been dear frinds for 10 to 53 years , and if needed would donate an organ to each other,( not a piano organ either) ,I have loved and visa versa, some for for 50 plus years
but 32 years in Costa Rica  and  I am ashamed to say I have only made "fair weather friends"  or only "aquaintences" who charge $$$ for tiny favors...
However I I love the weather in my area Heredia Hills :) . so still here...Many old er Gringos ,with fat wallets ,guys who have managed to hook up with the help of their financial support may  "take umbridge " to this BUT the truth hurts buddies LOL WHEW nic to get that off my chest ..but as I said IDO love our climate and my friends fro all over the world who visit my farm/lodge or I my go nuts LOL. (oh have i ?  Ps :  crime is not the issue in my book ....

Here's a recent article on crime in Central America. Costa Rica comes in 2nd safest, next to Panama. Personally I felt much less safe in Panama, but maybe that was just a fluke. I don't like seeing guys with machine guns all over the place... especially when they extract bribes from people... … l-america/

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