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Dominican Republic Remains A Safe Destination Despite Recent Travel Warnings – Here’s Why

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Despite recent travel warnings issued by the U.S. and Canada, Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic are generally among the safer destinations in the Caribbean.

Punta Cana white-sand beach with travellers

This is due, in part, to the country’s tourism police – the Politur – which employs over a thousand officers to ensure a safe vacation for millions of travelers.

In this article, we’ll review the impact the country’s reputable tourism police has on safety and why the Dominican Republic remains a safe destination.

Tourist police agent standing in front of an old building

Officials Highlight Falling Crime Rates Amid Record Travel Numbers

The Dominican Republic’s tourism police is a common sight across the sun-soaked country. From resort hotspots like Punta Cana and Puerto Plata to Santo Domingo’s Old Town, the Politur is the visible face of the Dominican Republic’s commitment to protecting visitors.

And that effort to boost visitors’ safety is paying off. Recently published statistics show a significant drop in crime rates across major Dominican Republic resort hubs, a development largely attributed to the work of the Politur.

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Reflecting on the fresh numbers, Minoru Matsunuaga, the directing manager of the Tourism Police, said the following: “The tourism police officers carry out proactive efforts to strengthen crime prevention, assisting travelers and identifying suspicious individuals,” the official said in an interview.

Safety has been a hot topic in the Dominican Republic this year after a 9-year-old U.S. citizen was shot dead in April; although shocking, such instances are extremely rare, with petty crime being the most commonly-report safety concern.

Armed officer on small vehicle in Punta Cana

The Politur recently celebrated its 48th anniversary as one of the most important institutions in the country. In 2023, it employs more than 1,700 officers across a handful of tourist hotspots.

Authorities from the Politur say they will continue to acquire more tools to fight crime, meaning travelers can expect even more patrols in an effort to stem organized crime. In a move expected to modernize the state-run institution, the Politur will focus on high-tech solutions to improve safety and interaction with the public.

Luxury neighborhood of Punta Cana

Easily identified by their white polo shirt and dark blue trousers, the Politur is a highly institutionalized public security body that helps protect travelers from crime. They also render general assistance, such as providing directions or local insight on the trendiest places to visit.

Travelers can reach out to the Politur should they find themselves in a tricky situation; the tourism police can also be contacted online and on social media.

Remember These Crucial Safety Tips On Your Next Dominican Republic Getaway

While travelers can feel safe knowing they are being looked after by the Dominican Republic’s tourism police, following essential safety tips can go a long way in preventing crime.

Busy street in Santo Doming with people

And with recent travel warnings issued by the United States and Canada, it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant, even if crime rates have continued to drop.

Organized crime remains a significant issue in some of the most popular destinations in the Dominican Republic, including Santiago and Santo Domingo. Meanwhile, Punta Cana, the undisputed resort hotspot of the country, is mostly immune to serious crimes thanks to its abundance of all-inclusive resorts.

When venturing outside of your resort, it’s important to maintain high situation awareness, especially in and around public beaches, which are a magnet for pickpockets and other forms of petty crime.

Police cars on the street in Punta Cana

Keep valuable objects, like cameras, smartphones, and laptops out of sight when in public and in a secure location.

Travelers are advised to avoid walking outside alone at night and to stick to the safety of their all-inclusive resort. For travelers staying in an online rental, it’s essential to book your stay in a safe neighborhood where law enforcement’s more visibly present.

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