The authorities in Playa Del Carmen are taking another huge step to improve security for tourists in the form of increased motorcycle patrols by local law enforcement. And this increase is far from being a PR exercise, with patrols being increased from the current number of 20 per day to over 300.
The vast majority of crimes in Playa Del Carmen are petty in nature, and the type of crimes associated with the more serious organized criminal activities in Mexico aren’t normally directed at tourists.
Increased Patrols May Improve Safety
Increased police presence is often cited as playing a huge factor in giving tourists a sense of security, and it also makes Playa Del Carmen a much less attractive place for criminal elements to operate.
Petty criminals are opportunistic and tend to steer clear of areas with a heavy police presence. Unfortunately, the resort areas of Playa Del Carmen are where petty crime is most common. This is often in the form of pickpockets and tourist scams, both of which are issues that present themselves in just about every tourist destination worldwide. But, with this impressive increase in patrols, the likelihood of these crimes is expected to drop.
Furthermore, organized crime in Mexico has a reputation for not targeting the tourism industry or tourists. These elements, for the most part, prefer to operate in areas where they aren’t under close watch by law enforcement, although there are always exceptions to the rule.
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Will It Work?
While there are no guarantees, safety in most of Mexico’s tourist hotspots has increased significantly over the past decade. This is thanks to the government and law enforcement recognizing what a huge positive tourism is to the Mexican economy and the nation’s international image.
But what sets this new announcement apart from other patrol increases is its planned function. There are three main routes into Playa del Carmen from Tulum, Cancun, and Valladolid. Many of these patrols will be used to control criminal entry before they even have the opportunity to enter the city. The closing of these routes as easy access for criminals will have a big impact on the overall security situation.
Further Initiatives On Security
Travelers will be happy to know this security initiative isn’t a first step by law enforcement. In fact, it was recently announced that a $1.9 million investment in security cameras is to be rolled out across Playa Del Carmen.
As well as increased police patrols and the construction of a staggering number of new security cameras, Playa Del Carmen is watched over by nearly 3000 members of the national guard (Guardia Nacional). Mexico’s national guard has a superb reputation for professionalism and dedication to duty. Having this highly trusted personnel in Playa Del Carmen is a huge plus to the city’s security.
The destination of Los Cabos in northwest Mexico has seen massive improvements in safety for both tourists and locals thanks to similar initiatives, and with Playa Del Carmen already boasting a great safety record with regard to tourism, these recent developments are setting the city on track to be one of the safest tourist destinations in all of Mexico.
This Is How To Limit Your Exposure To Crime
It’s important to remember some basic safety tips when on vacation, which apply not just to Playa Del Carmen but to any destination worldwide:
- Use registered transport operators; In Playa Del Carmen, this includes official taxis, Uber, and Didi, reception staff at resorts usually are happy to help organize transport.
- Use ATMs located inside a bank or resort. Theft at public ATMs is a known issue in all of Mexico, but it can be easily avoided by following this simple advice.
- Avoid going off the beaten track at night. While exploring can be exciting, it isn’t advisable at night or when unsure of the area.
- Avoid recreational narcotics. For many reasons, it’s best to keep a vacation to Playa Del Carmen clean. The police have zero tolerance for tourists who engage in this activity, and it is the main avenue that tourists find themselves in dangerous situations.
As a country, Mexico faces many issues with crime, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that the city of Playa Del Carmen boasts greater public safety than many U.S. cities.
Tourists that visit the Mayan Riviera overwhelmingly have a safe and positive vacation in this beautiful corner of the world, and with around 40 million tourists visiting Mexico each year, the handful of incidents recorded is a fantastic reflection of the great work by the government and law enforcement to make tourism safe.
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