A huge investment in law enforcement vehicles and equipment has seen the Cancun police become better prepared than ever.
Added to the roster to protect travelers and locals are 66 patrol cars, 35 pickup trucks, 20 motorcycles, as well as 4 ATVs, which will presumably be added to the beach patrols to make security even more mobile than ever.
Were They Underprepared All This Time?
With such a large investment into equipment, it would be fair to wonder if law enforcement was underprepared before receiving these new vehicles.
The finer details of that question are up for discussion, but what we do know is what has driven this and other initiatives over the past few months.
Law enforcement has been re-imagined in the destination due to an increase in crime rates after the pandemic, a trend seen worldwide and not just in Cancun.
The attitude changed to preventative policing, which has seen extremely successful results that have restored confidence in travelers that their vacation will be crime-free.
Does This Mean More Police Patrols?
This is certainly one of the aspects of this large addition of new vehicles; an increase in patrols and police presence, while a simple initiative, is still one of the most effective ways to deter criminal elements.
Perhaps more important though is the consistency this allows law enforcement to operate with. Police vehicles put in a lot of miles each day, and the downtime for servicing, as well as breakdowns, can easily throw a spanner in the works of police planning.
With this many extra vehicles, the chance that a patrol will be off the road for a day reduces drastically. Providing more reliable security coverage to every traveler in the destination.
Furthermore, this surplus now seriously extends the size of the response that is possible for law enforcement to call on if there is a threat to the destination.
A City Of Two Worlds
One of the most important points that travelers should be aware of when talking about the security situation in Cancun is that crime statistics here can be misleading for travelers.
The vast majority of incidents that occur in the Caribbean city take place away from the tourism hotspots. And on top of that, foreign travelers are rarely the target of these crimes.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that crime is never committed against travelers; there certainly are incidents, but the number of these acts in relation to the number of travelers who visit each year is wonderfully low.
Staying Safe In Cancun
There are a few basic precautions travelers can take to seriously lower the chance of being a victim of a crime while in the destination.
While following these isn’t a magic wand that guarantees safety, they stack the deck in travelers’ favor.
Most crimes against travelers here are opportunistic, and traveling alone in any city comes with risk; in this respect, Cancun is no different. When possible, always travel with others to help look less attractive as a target.
Be Aware, Be Informed
Especially when venturing out of the hotel zone, it pays to be aware of where in the city you are, where you are going, and how you can get back to your resort.
Where possible, avoid staring confusedly at Google Maps and always walk with purpose. This again helps to stop travelers from standing out as a potential mark.
Leave Valuables In The Safe
When exploring or even just visiting the beach or a restaurant, leave any valuables in the room safe back at the resort.
If the worst does happen and a traveler is pickpocketed or mugged (both rare occurrences here), the less there is to take, the better.
Don’t Flash Cash
Avoid carrying large sums of cash, and more importantly, don’t take it all out in public.
A good idea is to split large amounts up. For example, keeps roughly 30-50% of cash in a wallet/purse, and split the rest between pockets or even in a sock.
Beware Of Scams
Cancun has its fair share of scammers hoping to prey on travelers’ good nature. From roadside trick games to credit card swap scams when paying for goods or services.
And don’t be fooled by other supposed foreign travelers. There is a famous scam in Cancun, believed to have been pulled by one man for over 10 years. This person poses as a fellow traveler who was robbed of all belongings and will ask for cash to help them get home.
Resist your better nature if this situation arises. If a traveler is genuinely stranded, they will receive help from their nation’s embassy.
Remember To Enjoy
Reading advice like what is written above has the potential to cause anxiety in some travelers, but it is a worst-case scenario, and the truth is the overwhelming majority of travelers to Cancun have a crime-free, care-free vacation.
While it’s important to keep your wits about you, don’t forget to relax and enjoy everything this magical destination has to offer.
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