When anyone decides to visit another country for resting, working or different purposes, one always has some idea about the conditions in the country. One and most important thing to consider while traveling is if the place is safe to visit. Of course, there are extremists who don’t care about it, but most people worry about the task.
Georgia is a post-soviet union country and when someone mentions the soviet union, it often causes negative feelings. So, that’s why when people are going to visit the country they might think that the crime risk may be high. Many, however, argue Georgia is one of the safest countries in the world.
So for people who aren’t familiar with the country, it may be confusing to read different reviews and opinions from different sources. That’s why we will try to be as realistic as possible while discussing the topic.
Crime in Georgia
The first thing we should mention is that local people are very generous and kind to tourists in Georgia. The country is known for its hospitality. In most cases, people here aren’t rude, are very trustworthy and helpful to others.
Also, the crime rate in Georgia is not so high. Of course, there are different types of crime that take place sometimes, but it happens in every country. We have to mention that after the Rose Revolution in November 2003, the situation in Georgia radically changed. Due to new regulations, many things improved in the country and one of them is the reduced crime rate. Also, in March 2017, Georgian citizens received the right to travel to the EU’s Schengen Area without a visa which is a sign of trust from Europe. Moreover, in recent years many countries have added Georgia to the list of safe countries.
Below we can discuss some of the risks tourists mostly are concerned about.
Note: South Ossetia and Abkhazia
Russia occupies 2 regions of Georgia: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The administrative boundary lines are difficult to identify there. So, be careful if you decide to visit the places. For example, if you are going to visit South Ossetia, take the person who knows the place well in order to avoid any kind of threats. There, crime and civil unrest frequently happens and most foreign embassies will not provide many resources should anything happen to you there.
According to the information on Numbeo.com the crime index for Georgia is 20.18, which is lower than in many countries.
Note: The crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of crimes by the total population. The result is multiplied by 100,000.
Relying on the information of the Ministry of Internal affairs of Georgia, the total registered crime amount from January till August in 2019 was 44,216. The highest number of crimes come on Crimes related to property: 18,011
Transport Risks and Driving in Georgia
In Georgia, transportation is safe. Especially in Tbilisi. Busses and public transports are in good condition. So, you don’t have to worry about accidents due to system failure anymore than any other country. Just be careful with your wallet. Because, as we already mentioned, in places like this, where there are many people, the pickpocketing risk is higher than usual. Exercise normal caution, as you would in any crowded place.
Also, in Georgia, there are several places you should be careful while driving, especially in mountainous regions. Although the roads here are generally in good condition and there are warning signs, for foreigners, if you are driving a car in such places, you should be really careful and attentive. Conditions, especially in winter, can drop rapidly, or mountainous roads might be narrow and require extra caution.
In Georgia, many drivers don’t follow all laws. Especially regarding speed and changing lanes. A big amount of car accidents happen for this reason. That’s why, for foreigners who are driving in Tbilisi streets, this may become a problem and in this case, it’s better to use public transport. If you do decide to drive, that is fine. Just be cautious of your surroundings and other drivers near you. You hear very similar stories about many countries in the world, so depending where you are from, this style of driving might not be any different than you are used to.
Also, according to the research of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Transport related crime is one of the biggest compared to others (2164).
Pickpocketing risks exist in Georgia but is very low. The only thing to take into consideration is that you should be very careful in crowded places like metros, big markets and etc. But again, it’s like in other countries, so you don’t have to worry about it more than you already do.
Terrorism risks are very low in Georgia. In the recent history of the country, no terrorism facts have taken place here. There were just facts when the Government of Georgia found that several people who were Searched by Interpol crossed Georgia’s border illegally and the Georgian Government took action on it.
Foot Patrol/Tourist Patrol
In May 2018, groups of police officers started working in the streets of Tbilisi. Foot patrol operates in places with high amount of tourists. The aim of it is to ensure the safety of people. Foot patrol is mostly oriented on tourists, they are making sure that people who visit the popular places are safe. They also can help them and give the necessary data about information centers nearby.
The main reason why the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has implemented this is to make sure that people feel safe while visiting the country.
If you have decided to travel to Georgia, you will probably see that it is a generally safe country. As we already discussed, the crime rate isn’t big here, especially targeting foreigners. All you have to do is follow rules, be careful while climbing mountains or doing different activities and ask for the necessary information. The rest is to enjoy your stay in Georgia.
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