The safety of tourists visiting Cancun and other popular locations in Quintana Roo remains a major concern. According to recent data published by the National Secretary for Security, the safety situation in Quintana Roo streets hasn’t improved. In fact, statistics show that robbery, which mainly affects pedestrians during night time, is on the rise. As a result, the federal government has decided to increase the number of law enforcement personnel in tourist hotspots including Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Safety-related issues have been making the headlines in recent months in the state. With the busy summer season ahead, keeping tourists safe is a major priority for the state government. Just last weekend, armed criminals targeted beachgoers near Isla Mujeres and injured a member of the Mexican Army.
The incident is just one of many armed robberies affecting residents and tourists in Cancun. According to a report by the Executive Secretary for the National System for Public Security (Sesnsp), May saw an increase in the number of armed robbery cases under investigation by local police, which went from 139 to 151, translating to a monthly rise of 8.6%.
In light of the recent crime numbers, state officials have issued several recommendations to keep visitors safe during their vacation. The goal, they say, is to prevent robberies from happening in places such as Cancun and other popular tourist destinations around Quintana Roo. Avoiding walking alone at night and in isolated places are among the top tips. Moreover, it is highly recommended to stick to resort and hotel areas, as well as places where law enforcement personnel can be found.
Meanwhile, authorities in the United States, the most important market for Mexican tourism, have become aware of the increasing crime issue, and have issued their own warning for visiting tourists. Those headed to Cancun should be cautious of their surroundings and be vigilant whilst outside of the safety of their resorts. Just like their Mexican counterparts, the U.S Department of State recommends avoiding dark places outside of tourist areas, such as poorly lit streets or alleys.
Officials from the State Public Attorney say that it is vital to help victims file complaints so that robberies can be successfully investigated. Unfortunately, a large number of robberies go unreported to local police due to a feeling of helplessness and inefficiency. From police reports to investigations to complicated legal proceedings, achieving justice for robberies can take a significant amount of time.
According to Quintana Roo state law, robbery is punishable between six months and six years of prison, and between ten to fifty day-fines
More Law Enforcement Personnel In Cancun And Playa del Carmen
In addition to local police efforts, the federal government is adding more reinforcements to tackle crime in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The new units include 100 soldiers from the Secretary of National Defence (Sedena) as well as 130 members from the National Guard.
The enhanced security presence will mainly target organized crime groups that are responsible for the area’s security issues. Coordination between Mexico’s various law enforcement agencies will be key, as several entities are participating in the patrolling of Cancun streets. Several security efforts have been taken in the past months to target organized crime groups in the area. In Playa del Carmen, new k9 units were recently added to help detect illegal substances including drugs and weapons.
The improved security apparatus is already showing some results. For example, law enforcement agencies carried out a massive raid and seized 200kg of illegal drugs thanks to a recently launched police unit for tracking illegal substances in private properties.
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