The results of the National Urban Public Safety Survey are in, and one city near Los Cabos was ranked as one of the top safest cities in the entire country.
Fifth Safest City
The capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz, was ranked the fifth safest city in the entire nation based on the results of the National Urban Public Safety Survey.
Only 22.4 percent of those surveyed felt the city was unsafe. That’s a significant improvement over the results from last year’s survey.
According to the La Paz Director General of Public Security, Preventive Police and Municipal Traffic, Rut de la Fuente Velázquez, the improvement was a concerted effort by all parties, including law enforcement and government, to improve safety and security in the town.
Year End Improvement
There was a significant improvement in the perception of safety in La Paz in the last quarter of the year.
The perception of the city went from the sixth safest city in the country to the fifth safest city in the nation in the last three months of the year.
That reflected the 24.1 percent perception of lack of safety in La Paz in the third quarter to 22.4 percent perception of lack of safety in the last quarter of the year.
Opposite What Crime Statistics Say
However, the recently issued Baja California Sur Stoplight Crime Report for the month of December showed that crime actually increased in the month relative to November.
The report is set up like a traditional roadway stoplight with yellow meaning caution and red is stop, or in this case, a significantly high number of crimes.
In December, La Paz recorded three red and three yellow lights among the 11 different crimes monitored for the report.
The red lights were for homicide, vehicle theft, and business burglaries. Meanwhile, the three yellow lights, or caution, were for home burglaries, injuries, and family violence.
In November, La Paz only had one red light for vehicle theft. There were four yellow lights for drug dealing, business burglaries, rape and family violence.
This was lower than what was reported for December. However, it was an improvement of the four red lights and three yellow lights in October.
However, the National Urban Public Safety Survey evaluates the perception of safety and not the actual crimes committed in the town.
It could be that there is a lag between the actual numbers of crimes and the perception of crimes. Also, the exact date of the survey in the fourth quarter is unknown and could have been after the November drop from the high October numbers.
That’s an important factor, especially for tourism to La Paz.
What Tourists Need to Know
Despite the contradiction between the reported crime numbers and the perception of safety and security in the Baja California Sur capital city of La Paz, tourists need to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves.
This would be advised anywhere tourists travel outside of the United States.
Visitors ultimately have to take responsibility to take preventive steps to protect themselves and avoid being in situations where they can be victims of crime.
Common strategies such as downplaying showing wealth or flaunting luxury items along with limiting carrying large amounts of cash are good places to start on travel safety. Expensive items should be kept in a hotel safe.
Travel insurance should be purchased in advance of travel to replace any possible stolen items.
Also, stay in tourist areas, especially those that are well-lit, after dark. Travelers should be aware of their surroundings and those around them.
If a traveler feels unsafe in a situation, they should locate a local law enforcement officer or yell to draw attention to themselves and the criminal.
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