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Violent crime against tourists in the Dominican Republic is rare, and the destination has a history of being safe. Punta Cana remains one of the safest regions, Uvero Alto even more so. However, poverty is everywhere in the country, and petty theft (particularly of cell phones), pickpocketing, and purse snatching do happen, particularly in Higüey.
Security at the resorts is very good, but it's important to take precautions against petty theft. As everywhere, common sense rules apply. Leave your valuables in the hotel when you walk along the beach. Use the safe in your hotel room or at the front desk; hide your laptop if it doesn't fit in the safe. It's safe to rent a car and drive yourself around the Punta Cana area, but when driving, always lock your car and don't leave valuables inside. Take hotel-recommended taxis at night. Don't buy or bring drugs: the penalties in this country are extremely tough—jail (not pretty), fines, and no parole.
Politur is a special branch of the police department dedicated to protecting the safety of tourists, with branches in Friusa and Uvero Alto. Its officers maintain a presence in the hotel areas and also monitor excursions. For emergencies, dial 911.
Politur (Carretera Friusa–Arena Gorda, at the gas station and near Sitrabapu Bus Terminal, Friusa, Bávaro. 809/754–3082.)
Politur (Plaza Uvero Alto Shopping Center, Uvero Alto. 809/754–2985.)
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