Panama City - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Crime has been on the upswing of late. In general, Panama is a peaceful place where you can undertake land travel without a problem. Never leave your street smarts at home. - Dec 2021


I've found this post very safe! - Oct 2018


Like any big city, just be careful. - Sep 2018


I find it very safe here. - May 2017


Panama is considered a high-crime post, but we have never felt abnormally unsafe. Even walking around at night downtown or in Casco Viejo has been fine. There are tourist police in Casco Viejo as well as along the Cinta Costera. You may drive through some unsafe neighborhoods, but usually they're not too bad. You should always maintain vigilance though. Especially while driving as the other drivers are bound to do something that they shouldn't. - Mar 2017


Like everywhere else, there are certain areas you don't go to. But generally it is quite safe here. - Oct 2015


- Snakes and scorpions both inside and outside the houses. We cut all the bushes off and maintained small grass; did not let our kids go to the backyard. We didn't see snakes or scorpions in our house but previous tenants and several neighbors did. - Heard about some house robberies, rape cases and robbing people at restaurant at gun point but nobody we know was robbed or raped. - Car break-ins to steal cell phones etc is common. However when you're in Panama it feels pretty safe as long as you use your common sense. - Jun 2015


Panama is rated critical for crime. Although it can happen, violent crime is relatively rare in the neighboorhoods where embassy staff live but residential crime (like burgalries) is not unusual. Embassy staff have had their homes and cars broken into. There are "red" zones identified by the RSO throughout Panama City, including Pacora which houses an annex office of the Embassy, where poeple should exercise extreme caution. There are dozens of different gangs in Panama. The increasingly high cost of living and frequent utility outages have led to civil unrest and frequent demonstrations that close down major streets in the city without notice. - May 2015


Occasional break ins. - Sep 2014


This is the safest you get in Latin America. Just be aware when going to public places, and avoid some areas late at night. A safe country - my number one quality for Panama. - Jul 2014


Unorganized gang violence is common in and around the city among small-scale neighborhood gangs (nothing like further north in Central America/Mexico). Make sure you know where the bad areas are, they tend to be quite close to the nice areas in some cases. House break-ins and burglaries aren't uncommon, so make sure you arm your alarm (no one with the Embassy has had a break-in since we've been here, but there have been some attempted break-ins on Embassy houses, and some non-Embassy neighbors who have been robbed). - Mar 2014


There have been some house/car break-ins. Most people feel very safe. You have to keep an eye out, like anywhere, but it's pretty safe. - Jan 2013


There have been increased security issues with gangs but I walk outside during the day and at night and run by myself along the coast on a biking path. - Sep 2011


Insecurity is an increasingly difficult problem, as more drugs come through. Normally, it is still safe, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult. - Apr 2010


moderate security concerns (seems to be getting worse though) - Dec 2009


I have heard of home robberies in our area. Also a particular gang that poisons dogs in order to break into homes more easily. I myself feel secure and have accidentally left the front door open a few times. - May 2008


High security concerns, but mostly petty crime, home break-ins, etc. - Apr 2008


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