Los Cabos is gearing up for the super-busy winter tourist season by doubling down on its commitment to providing a safe and secure destination for all.
This past year has seen a huge transformation of policing across Los Cabos, with a more modern ethos of prevention, not reaction.
While this may seem an obvious approach, one that should have been implemented long ago, it’s important to remember policing has had a troubled history in Mexico, with public trust in law enforcement organizations not being impressive by any metric.
But this is changing, if slowly. Los Cabos, like its sister destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, has flipped the script on how they approach policing, with the results already creating a more relaxed and secure environment for travelers and locals alike.
The commitment to improving Los Cabos security has been planned long-term, with a more analytical approach helping to focus resources on where they’re needed, and where they can have the biggest impact.
This analytical approach includes identifying zones where criminality is more common, as well as discovering the most applicable approach to make the destination unattractive to any would-be criminals.
Add to that the huge rollout of security cameras in tourism hotspots, the increased partnerships between agencies to better coordinate responses, as well as the increased standards required to serve as an officer of the law, and it’s easy to see just how “night and day” policing is now in Los Cabos compared to just a few years ago.
Still Creases To Iron Out
While improvements have been fast, and the future looking brighter than ever, there are still mountains to climb and solutions to be found.
One of the biggest concerns coming from authorities is what they refer to as “the cockroach effect”, the idea is that as one area/neighborhood is improved, the issues migrate to another part of the destination.
This is an unexpected side effect of the quadrant approach to operations, which in simple terms means the drawing of areas of interest on the map and the sequential application of initiatives and operations in each to push out criminals.
Of course, these criminal elements need to go somewhere, and so far, that somewhere is simply neighboring areas. With that being said, with continued application of these operations the expectation is that in the near future, there will be no attractive areas to operate in for criminals.
An Important Attitude Change
The authorities in Los Cabos have always recognized the importance of safety and security for travelers. In the destination, tourism is the heartbeat and lifeblood of the economy, and thousands of local families and businesses rely on it to live.
Despite that understanding, it has taken longer than expected for reform within policing, and a more concentrated and coordinated approach to public security, to become a top concern.
But as the saying goes, “It’s better late than never”.
Leading The Pack
One concern that may still live in the minds of some travelers is that this is a short-term trend from local government and that with local elections in the future, there’s a chance of the destination slipping into its old ways.
While a valid concern, the bigger picture across Mexico shows that’s a highly unlikely scenario. Post-pandemic vacation destinations across the world were met with a worrying increase in crime rates, with many still struggling to return to pre-pandemic security levels.
What’s surprising to many is that Mexico seems to be leading the pack worldwide and is even exceeding the pre-pandemic security situation it enjoyed.
Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, have all taken decisive action to improve the situation of security for everyone in their regions. Money often drives change, and the tourism economy in these destinations has played a huge part in pushing these positive changes.
With the impact of tourism on local populations often being a vocal talking point, it’s undeniable that at least in regard to safety and security, tourism is helping to bring improvements for all.
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