The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) crime and safety report is a great security informational resource. Mostly updated by the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Officer, the report provides valuable and practical security information. The report was recently updated and looking for valuable insights here’s what I found…
The U.S. Department of State continues to rate Tunisia as a medium threat country for crime. As stated in previous postings, road safety continues to be the “most significant safety threat” to a visitor in Tunisia. An interesting point that was added to the report confirms that “since the revolution there have been occasional threats to American or Western interests”. One incident sited in the report took place in August 2011 where it was reported that “extremists had possibly identified staff of international aid organizations as potential targets for kidnapping”.
Another interesting note relative to the importance of situational awareness is the “target selection” among criminals. According to the report, the target selection “tends to focus on persons who appear unfamiliar with their surroundings…and or otherwise draw attention to themselves”. The other factor is that thieves, usually male “sometimes target western women walking alone and rob them day or night IF the opportunity presents itself”. That being said it is important to note that violent crimes remain “relatively rare in the affluent areas where most expatriates reside”.
Post Revolution Security Update Points
- Tunisia security forces have noted the increased availability of small arms and other weapons in Tunisia throughout 2011.
- Since the revolution, Tunisia has witnessed increased activity by ultra-conservative Islamists.
- While demonstrations have not been directed toward foreigners, visitors are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security.
- The majority of crime reported by the Tunisian media, including violent crime, occurs between people who are acquainted in some way.
- The U.S. Embassy has noted a rise in aggressive criminal activity in recent months.
Overall the report makes the accurate point that since the revolution, the security situation in “most tourist and business centers remains calm…” Additionally, considering the historical changes that have taken place in Tunisia within such a short time span, it is fair to say that things are going well.
Please feel free to review the report for yourself and share your valuable feedback…