“Armenia is a very safe country, Yerevan is a safe place” I usually tell foreign friends and colleagues visiting Armenia and leave them free to explore it as much as they like, they are all grown ups, after all.
Latest crime figures released by Armenia’s Police for the first 9 months of this year will certainly make me think twice before I let my foreign guests walk free of my company from now on.
Police have registered 79 cases of criminal offences committed by local Armenians against foreigners who were in Armenia at the time this year so far. Meanwhile, foreigners are not behaving particularly well in Armenia either. 71 cases of criminal activities or serious violations of laws were committed by foreigners in Armenia.
I haven’t been able to find data from past years to compare with this year’s figures. Still, police officials have noted on several occasions, that crime levels have been rising, which, I suppose, means a deteriorating safety situation overall.
The police are blaming it on social pressures, economic crisis, unemployment. Whatever the reasons, I guess they’d better stop looking for excuses and do more to stop crime, especially against foreigners, tourists. This situation can prove utterly destructive for the fragile tourism industry that this country is hoping to cultivate…