Monday, March 4th was a long night for us. We had several residential/ personal safety issues that we had to address. Many lessons learned and I would like to share them with you:
Subject Expat gets assaulted by (4) young males while running. What began as a typical “harass the Western looking woman while she runs”, escalated into a case of assault as one male decided to punch her to the ground. Fortunately, several people observed this and came to her aid.
Time: Apprx. 415pm
Location: Right next to the Zitouna Bank going towards Le Kram.
After Action: Police report + Conducted an hour long patrol with police in an unsuccessful attempt to apprehend the individuals involved.
2nd Incident: Home Break In La Marsa,
Location: (Residential Area behind the La Marsa stadium) La Marsa
After Action: Police report + detailed finger print search
Interesting Points: Thieves were bold, calm, and methodical. Entered the home right as the couple went upstairs to put the kids to sleep.
We definitely need to remind the Expat Community about the importance of personal safety & residential security.
It’s important to remember that while comparatively speaking Tunisia has a low crime rate, security professionals agree that there’s been a significant increase in “low level crimes”. Petty criminals are bolder and our communities have been hit with more incidents of purse snatching, harassment and burglaries.
Personal Safety 101
According to the 2012 OSAC Crime & Safety Report and personal experience, we can confirm that: Target selection tends to focus on persons who appear unfamiliar with their surroundings, those who are dressed in expensive or western style clothing, or otherwise draw attention to themselves.
On the residential security side: “Burglaries occur with regularity, but do not exclusively focus on the expatriate community. Since most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, a well secured home is often enough for the criminals to move on.”
For Expats here on long duration assignments we recommend the following levels of security:
Level I (Basic Setup):
- Same as above
- Install Strategic Security Lighting
- Same as above
- Consider a Private Security Vehicle Patrol
Once again, these are basic measures taken by Expats who live in urban environments all around the world and I am sure that most of you are already receiving this level of coverage either by your employer or community council. It’s just, that for some unknown reason, many Expats believe that Tunisia was and continues to be immune to crime; that is simply not the case.
Let’s continue to share information and network as we get ready for Spring Break.