Money and Travel

How to protect yourself from crime abroad

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People often go on holiday to escape from their troubles at home and leave full of expectation that they will have the time of their lives. However, there are some people that become the victims of crime when they are on holiday and you should be aware of the risks before you leave.

Be savvy

It goes without saying that you should keep your wits about you wherever you are and ensure that you keep your valuables close to hand. Wearing lots of flashy, expensive jewellery could make you stand out as a potential target to thieves that could be tempted to try and mug you so try to avoid doing this. The more you can make yourself blend in, the less likely you are to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people.

If you feel unsafe at any point, move to a busy area and try to look confident when you are walking anywhere. You might want to go to a café where there are lots of busy people around, or even head to the nearest police station if you feel you are being followed or that you are in any danger. It’s not a pleasant thought to consider but you need to be savvy and keep yourself out of harm’s way as much as possible as well as proactively taking out cover before you leave – there are a number of online providers available for instant cover; an example being Alpha Travel Insurance.

Thieves

Pickpockets are commonly found in busy tourist areas and take advantage of how distracted people are in these places. When you are looking at the attraction, the pickpocket is busy collecting your wallet from your pocket so try to stay aware at all times. You should take out a travel insurance policy from a company like Alpha Travel Insurance so that you are covered if you do have anything stolen as well.

Remember that it is not just when you are out and about that you are at risk of being a victim of theft. If you leave things lying around in your hotel room, there is a risk that it can be stolen by cleaners or someone who breaks in. Keep anything of value locked away in a safe and check that everything is where you left it each time you return to you room. Be sure to report any missing items as soon as you notice them as well.

Profile

It’s not a nice thing to think about but criminals tend to select their victims depending on whether they think the crime will be successful. With this in mind, you need to make yourself less of a target. When you are in different surroundings, you can assume that a certain type of environment is normal behaviour when it actually isn’t. As an example, pushing and shoving on underground stations may seem the norm but is actually set up by gangs of criminals who want to distract you in order to make their move.

Similarly, if you look like you don’t fit in and aren’t paying much attention, you also increase your risk of being a target. Standing in the middle of a busy street, holding a map, with a bag over one shoulder that is stuffed full of cash, travel documents and a packed lunch can instantly put a target on your head. The more you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, the more chance you have of becoming a crime victim.

About the author

This article, produced on behalf of multi-trip insurer Alpha Travel Insurance, was written by the keen traveller and blogger, Lauren Sutton.

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