Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2017 was 12.30, a 3.36% increase from 2016. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2015 was 11.60, a 16% increase from 2014. In 2017, Costa Rica broke the country’s record in reported homicides with 603 and a homicide rate of 12.1 per 100,000 individuals. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The result for the country has been peace and prosperity. "Costa Rica has long been known for its low crime rate and relatively stable economy, having escaped the bloody Cold War conflicts and brutal gang violence that have wrought havoc in other Central American countries. More & More People Retiring in Costa Rica. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. All I am trying to say is that crime, unfortunately, is a part of life in Costa Rica and it does affect tourists as well. They mainly respond to traffic accidents. Both Costa Rican nationals and third-country nationals participate in organized crime: car theft rings, drug traffickers, petty theft, and burglary. The local authorities face problems when trying to deal with this situation. The homicide rate in Costa Rica has been fairly stable in the past five years, with the numbers varying between 9.5 and 12.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2017, Costa Rica recorded a record number of 116 water-related deaths. As is the case with many developing countries, Costa Rica has limited funds; consequently, most of the police force is understaffed and inadequately trained. However, traffic delays remain a common daily occurrence. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided. Meanwhile, authorities told Bloomberg that they’re forecasting an even higher number in 2018. This agency is within the Poder Judicial (judicial branch). Random acts of petty theft remain the primary area of concern; however, armed robberies do occur. Due to crime, exercise increased caution in Central neighborhood in Limon, Liberia city, Desamparados neighborhood in San Rafael, and Pavas and Hospital neighborhoods in San José. Heavy traffic provides the opportunity for thieves to steal property that is left in plain view from vehicles. Driving can be extremely challenging, even to the most experienced driver. Unidad Especial de Intervención (UEI): Special weapons and tactics police unit, specializing in explosives. or the United States Government, except as otherwise noted (e.g., travel advisories, public statements). open sources and (U) embassy reporting. February 20, 2018; Crime and Safety in Costa Rica, News; 0 Comments; Print. In 2017, several large-scale road construction projects generated even more traffic congestion than usual. Officially registered taxis will be red or orange with a yellow triangle on the side door and functioning meters installed. In recent years, the average annual amount of fine particle pollution in the greater metropolitan area ranged between 22-25 micrograms per cubic meter, more than double the recommended level set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, murder and sexual assault have also been types of crime that have been committed against tourists. “Crime is increasing in Costa Rica and U.S. citizens are frequent victims. The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Costa Rica. Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2015 was 11.60, a 16% increase from 2014. Bureau of Diplomatic Security Costa Rica has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations. Experts from the Health Ministry and the National University have stated that fine particulate matter from volcanic ash (frequently from Turrialba and Poas) and automobile exhaust can be a public health concern in the greater metropolitan area, which includes San José and parts of Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia. Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2016 was 11.90, a 2.59% increase from 2015. The Overseas Traveler’s Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud, For more information, please review OSAC’s Report, “, Security in Transit: Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights, Traffic laws and speed limits are often ignored, turn signals are rarely used, passing on dangerous stretches of highway is common, and pedestrians are not given the right-of-way. The majority of kidnappings are a result of feuds between rival criminal organizations. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Most victims of theft are injured when they resist or try to fight back. The result of these insufficient roads is significant traffic jams and delays, which can lead to aggressive driving behavior, accidents, significantly impact travel times, and hinder law enforcement, medical personnel, and fire department response to an emergency. Cases of Arancha Gutiérrez and María Trinidad Mathus, both occurring in August 2018, are the most recent examples of t… The main factor driving this level of violence is competition among local groups engaged in … Organized crime is an increasing concern. These areas are home to approximately 60% of Costa Rica’s population, 70% of its vehicle fleet, and 85% of its major industry, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute. Interested private-sector security managers should contact OSAC’s, U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica should register with the, External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. To have a crime investigated/prosecuted, it must be reported to Organismo de Investigación (OIJ), the investigative/judicial police. The U.S. Department of State has assessed San José as being a HIGH-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. Theft is common in highly populated and tourist areas, particularly in cases where personal belongings are not being closely watched, to include those left on beaches or in parked vehicles. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Information about crime in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Historically, Costa Rican politics was dominated by two major parties that routinely garnered more than 94% of the national vote. otherwise distributing OSAC-derived information in a manner inconsistent with this policy may result in the discontinuation of OSAC support. Flash floods and severe landslides occur in other province as well, depending on the time of year and rainfall. The most widely used indicator of crime is the homicide rate, which reached a record high of 603 in 2017, equaling 12.1 per 100,000 people, continuing a six-year upward trend (specific data may be found on the website for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime). While petty theft is the main problem, armed robberies have been known to occur even in broad daylight. The government’s new attempt to establish additional control over weapon possession, which was regulated by legislation in 1994, provoked criticism from those who support the right to carry weapons. The courts often delay imposing a settlement until all injured parties have fully recovered and the definitive costs are known. The recent accomplishments in Costa Rica’s counter-narcotics programs can partially be attributed to the improvements in equipment, training, and infrastructure achieved in cooperation with the U.S. government. Those detained by law enforcement should immediately contact the U.S. Embassy at 2519-2000. There are ongoing disputes between Uber and the taxi union that have resulted in government of Costa Rica and some private banking sector actions against Uber. Costa Rica wants to reform the law and reduce the number of weapons on the street in order to decrease the alarming crime rate. In general, air travel is deemed reliable without major security concerns or unnecessary travel delays. Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3. Travelers are also advised against travel to Turrialba Volcano National park due to a natural disaster. But the observance of the anniversary comes at a time when internal security concerns are escalating in the Central American nation. It’s difficult to find any comprehensive crime stats more recent than 2011 for Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government can place a departure impediment on individuals who attempt to depart without paying their medical bills. Costa Rica has been on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List for deficiencies in its protection of intellectual property rights. U.S. Department of State, According to the current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report’s publication, Costa Rica has been assessed as Level 1: exercise normal precautions. Travelers can access the, Costa Rican National Emergency Commission, Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismic Observatory. Crime and Safety in Costa Rica. The kidnapping rate is very low and rarely involves U.S. citizens. According to FBI crime statistics, Chicago, which has a population roughly the same as Costa Rica, saw its homicide rate in 2017 hover at 24.1, while San Juan, Puerto Rico's homicide rate … The majority of crime and safety threats to U.S. official and private communities are opportunistic acts of theft. Another challenge confronting drivers is the lack of street signs/names, which makes finding an address extremely difficult even with a GPS. But now drug-traffickers have their eye on this once-tranquil territory and crime rates are on the rise. This weakness is compounded by the general instability of party support and increased split-… In 2018, there was a decrease from 2017’s record-high murder rate. Travelers can access the Costa Rican National Emergency Commission and the Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismic Observatory for additional information. Although a long-simmering territorial dispute with neighboring Nicaragua has raised tensions, at times, between them. There are ongoing disputes between Uber and the taxi union that have resulted in government of Costa Rica and some private banking sector actions against Uber. Costa Rica is mostly safe, with 1.9 million visitors annually making it a popular travel destination. Costa Rica 2018 Crime & Safety Report . U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information, (Across the street from Centro Comercial del Oeste Pavas). Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2014 was 10.00, a 14.94% increase from 2013. This is true regardless of who was at fault or coverage by insurance. For more information on ride-sharing, please review OSAC’s Annual Briefing Report “, When planning travel to the area, consider that a disaster may strike without warning. Travelers should exercise extreme caution when swimming in the ocean. January 24, 2018 . The contents of this (U) report in no way represent the policies, views, or attitudes of the United States Department of State, Various agencies, to include U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration, work closely with the government of Costa Rica to improve airport procedures for the increased safety of passengers and efficiency of airport operations. Heavy traffic provides the opportunity for thieves to steal property that is left in plain view from vehicles. Furthermore, the government of Costa Rica may prevent any driver involved in a vehicular accident from departing the country until all injury claims have been settled. Access to the Poas Volcano National Park remains restricted. Publishing or Medicare and Medicaid do not offer coverage outside the United States. Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance. Costa Rica is located in an active earthquake and volcanic zone. In very limited situations, cultural or religious ideologies may impact discrimination based on sexual orientation. Visitors are advised to only use taxi cabs from reputable companies. The U.S. Department of State has assessed San José as being a LOW-threat location for terrorist activity directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. The main factor driving this level of violence is competition among groups engaged in the domestic sale and transport of drugs. Less-monitored areas on Costa Rica’s borders and beaches are utilized to traffic drugs and other types of contraband. Due to a lack of resources, the traffic police are not proactive and do not regularly monitor roads. As a result, travelers may be prohibited from leaving the country until a local judicial resolution is reached. Airports and airstrips serviced by small domestic carriers and a record 603 people were in... Or limit their visits due to safety concerns police patrols that have been on side! 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