Dominican Republic is not a country without problems but it is not as bad as various media would let you believe (violence sells) or how resort receptionists would like you to believe (their goal is to keep you at the resort and spend money with them).
Foreign tourists are often considered attractive targets for criminal activity and you should maintain a low profile to avoid becoming a victim of violence or crime.
These are some DO and DON’T that can help you prevent being targeted
- wear clothes that you see locals wearing
- walk confidently even if you don’t know where you are walking (check map in a store not in the middle of empty street)
- take only as much cash as you need and a few notes as not to upset a robber
- stay on main roads/streets
- instead of a passport carry a copy of it and have a phone number to the place where you are staying
- wear or carry anything that is or looks expensive (jewelry, bags, shoes)
- carry around ATM or credit cards if you don’t have to
- carry any valuable documents if you don’t have to
In case you become a target this is what to do and not to do
- try to stay calm
- hand over everything you are asked to hand over
- inform police when you are in a safe place with other people
- ever fight back or argue with robbers
- try to be a hero
In dealing with local police, you should be aware that the standard of professionalism might vary. Police attempts to solicit bribes have been reported, as have incidents of police using excessive force.