Spotlight City: Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland with over 1.2 million residents. The city is characterised as a centre for national education, culture, industry, and economy in the country. Around seven million tourists visit Ireland each year, and the number is growing especially after it was ranked as one of the top cities to visit in 2016. The tourism sector is an important and well-developed industry in Dublin, and providing a safe and memorable visit for tourists is one of its top priorities. Before departing for a trip to Dublin, be sure to understand the security situation to have a safe and enjoyable time.
Threats and Risks to travellers in Dublin
Dublin is generally a safe city, and it is a progressive and accepting society. Millions of visits are made each year, and almost all are trouble free. Violent crime is rare; however organised crime and gang activity are known to exist. Foreigners should not be concerned with the organised crime in Dublin, as visitors are not the intentional target. However, if you do witness gang activity you should leave the area immediately. There is also an underlying threat of terrorism in Ireland, yet the risk of an attack is very unlikely.
Visitors to Dublin should be most concerned with petty theft. Pickpocketing is an occasional issue for tourists and locals alike, and it is important to be mindful of your belongings in public, especially in crowded areas such as Temple Bar or on public transportation. If you decide to rent a car in Dublin, it is crucial to lock the car and make attempts to disguise anything that may be an indicator that the car is a rental (like a decal on the windshield as a reminder to drive on the left). Never leave valuables in the car even if it is locked, as thieves will break windows (this happened to me!). Park your car in a secure lot if there is one available. Secure lots are common in Dublin especially near tourist destinations, and security cameras are prevalent to deter thieves. If your car is broken into or you are pickpocketed, call the police or go to a local police station to report the crime.
Personal security practices for travellers
Be extremely cautious when crossing the street, as cars drive on the left and many pedestrians each year get in accidents for looking the wrong way. Look both ways, and it is not advised to jaywalk even though this is common local practice. Traffic is heavy and can be dangerous if you do not follow pedestrian signals.
Dublin is an extremely dense and populated city, making riskier areas often located within walking distance from safe regions. The area in and around O’Connell Street can be dangerous both day and night, as it is gather place for drug addicts due to the high number of methadone clinics. Parnell Street is also another unsafe area. It is always smart to map out routes in advance to avoid wondering into precarious that could lead to compromising situations. Street brawls that include intoxicated participants have been known to occur after dark, so avoid this scenario by staying away from those who are visibly drunk. It is advised to avoid all city parks at night in Dublin.
What to do in the event of an emergency
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 999 or 112. The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is a free support system and offers help to any visitors who are victims of crime in Dublin, or Ireland as a whole. Dial 1890 365 700 to reach ITAS. The national police force is called the Garda Síochána, and police stations (gardai) are located throughout the city. Police officers are visible throughout Dublin and are approachable and helpful. Additionally, embassies are located in Dublin and typically can provide a limited degree of assistance to their citizens in the event of an emergency. In the event of a medical emergency, Dublin has excellent health care and public facilities are well equipped with quick ambulance response times.
Enjoy your trip!
Dublin is a vibrant and progressive city that captivates millions of visitors each year. The charming Irish culture amongst the Georgian homes, modern buildings, and Victorian pubs is something to soak in and enjoy. Practicing common sense and taking note of unsafe areas or potential risks to visitors will help ensure a worry free and successful trip.
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