Santo Domingo - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Dengue and mosquito diseases. - Sep 2023

High crime. - Oct 2021

Petty crime, car break-ins, etc. I was robbed by someone claiming to be a "customs official." - Feb 2021

Crimes of opportunity - home invasion, street robberies - happen. Take care not to leave valuables visible in vehicles or to wear a lot of jewelry if walking around outside. - Jan 2021

DR is very dangerous. Members of the official community have endured burglaries and some have even been stabbed on the street. It's not the most dangerous Latin American country, but that's about the only thing you can say. - Jul 2019

Yes, as the Dominican Republic is rated critical for crime. Though safer than Central America or Venezuela, petty crime is a big concern. I've heard that several people from the embassy and other expats have been held up by gun point and robbed. It's also common for people on motorcycles to execute a robbery or cause "fake" accidents in an attempt to extort you for money. Do not walk anywhere nor flash your valuables. Unfortunately, sexual assaults are far too common here, especially at hotels/resorts, often committed by hotel employees. - Jan 2019

Petty crime is a constant risk; do not walk with any visible valuables. Houses are more prone to break-ins than apartments. - Nov 2016

Crime is an issue. For those who live in stand-alone houses, there's a real threat of break-ins. Apartments and gated communities don't have that concern, fortunately. Purse snatchings and other street crime can also happen. The DR is safer than Central America and Venezuela, but it's still unsafe. - Apr 2016

Yes, this is a high crime area and I know quite a few people who have been robbed. Thieves look to steal smart phones and anything of value they can re-sell. Like in any city, you have to be vigilant, lock your doors, don't leave valuables in your car, etc. Most people avoid walking so they won't be a target for the motorcycle drivers who are known to knock people down and steal purses, wallets, phones, etc., sometimes at gunpoint. You might think you're in a relaxed, Caribbean atmosphere, but the security threat is real. - Jan 2016

Several people from the embassy and other expats have been held up by gun point and robbed. It's also common for people on motos to cause commotion and rob as well as cause "fake" accidents to attempt to get money. - Jan 2016

Tons. Cell phone snatching, thefts...just think of high crime in any U.S. city. Be alert and don't be too flashy. - Aug 2015

The city has frequent armed robberies, mugging gas, breaks ins, smash and grabs, etc. Road accidents and fatalities are common. - Aug 2015

Crime rates are high amongst Dominicans and in particular the greater metropolitan area of Santo Domingo. Most incidents are crimes of opportunity and expats are not specifically targeted. Just like any major metropolis, security awareness should always be employed when walking around the city. - Aug 2014

This is considered a high crime post, but we have not experienced any issues. One of the advantages to living in an apartment is feeling more secure. We know people who have been robbed, and it's just important to pay attention to your surroundings, even in touristy areas. Although nothing terrible has happened during our 2 years, I am never quite at ease when outside my home. - Jul 2013

We haven't had any problems, but we are cautious. We don't walk outside at night and don't wear nice jewelry or carry around anything that might attract attention. - Apr 2013

Yes! Santo Domingo is a dangerous city, and the crime rates are rising. In addition to high homicide rates, armed robbery is very common. Several people from the embassy community have been robbed at gunpoint during our year here. Friends have also had wheels stolen off their cars and dogs stolen out of their yards. In general, crime is a big problem. One of the biggest dangers in Santo Domingo is the reckless driving. Drivers do not follow any of the rules, and road rage is not uncommon. - Apr 2013

Crime is high. Don't walk at night or wear jewelry or carry electronics that would attract criminals. - Jan 2013

As in any Latin American country, crime is a concern. Much better here than Venezuela or anywhere in Central America, but you still have to take precautions. - Jun 2012

Don't go running with your iPod in public places. - Jun 2012

Petty theft is an ongoing issue. Car break-ins happen frequently, muggings do too. Violence has increased in the last several months with reports of random killings on highways and in the city in order to rob people. Drugs are moving in, and some of the Mexican cartels are beginning to transit through here, plus there are the Dominican and Puerto Rican cartels operating. If you're smart and take necessary precautions, none of this will be an issue. - Mar 2012

Crime here is a problem, but it could be worse. There have been some problems with break-ins and muggings. You must use street smarts here, and if you do, then you'll likely be fine. If you expect to be able to jog in the park after dark, you will find your lifestyle crimped here. - Feb 2012

Everybody carries guns here, you see from your car, the guys in motorcycles with the gun in their pants, there are armerias (gun stores everywhere) you can go buy guns, bullets, it is terrible. Robberies I was robbed at gun poin in a playground in an attempt to spend some time outside with my kid. - Feb 2012

yes, roberies - Oct 2011

There is a lot of crime here, this is a poor country and many people carry guns. I have not been a victim but I know people who have. It's important to be careful. For example, don't go running alone with an i-pod, always lock your doors and use your alarm, don't use unmarked's probably similar to most places. I generally feel safe here. My advice is to be very careful driving to Santo Domingo from the airport, there are lots of robberies around the airport. - Jun 2011

Crime is relatively high - purse/jewelry snatching by guys on motorcycles; narcotrafficking that doesn't typically affect USG personnel, opportunistic crimes - May 2011

street crime is a problem. several people have been mugged from the mission - Nov 2010

Crime is a serious problem in the Dominican Republic. Our maid was robbed at knife point only 2 block from the U.S. Embassy in broad daylight. This is absolutely a place where you should do everything in a group, and even then, do not go to remote locations. - Aug 2010

This is a very poor country, and I would say a high percentage of people would love nothing more than to break into your car/home and steal from you. You have to be constantly aware of your surroundings. We had our taxi followed by the typical 2 men on a does the driving, the other snatches the purse, bag, sunglasses, cell phone or whatever else appeals to their eye. I had read from our security report that the would-be attackers like the element of surprise, so my family and I stared them down and they sped off. Many people have things stolen right off of them in the street. There was one incident (that I heard of personally) where the person refused to give up her belongings and was shot. - Jun 2010

Lots of secutiry concerns. Burglary, strong arm robberies, drive by robberies and all other kinds of crime that is spilling over from the Dominican community onto foreigners. - May 2009

Personal and home robberies--the regular 3rd world deal. - Nov 2008

Yes. Break-ins, muggings, steeling, even abduction (not common, but personally known of)are all real and a problem here. The embassy considered getting rid of residential guards, but due to the concerns of the community has reversed that decision. How long, though, I have no knowledge of. - Oct 2008

Frequent house break-ins, muggings. Muggings are generally non-violent. Credit card fraud is high. - Aug 2008

Typical for Latin America. Safer in gated communities and apartments. - Aug 2008

Significant concerns. Violent street crime is on the rise. - Jun 2008

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