Latvia too dangerous to visit

Oct 15th, 2000, 11:34 AM
  #1  
Rhys
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Latvia too dangerous to visit

Latvia: Basic facts. Since 1994 the economic and social situation has worsened. Recently the police gave up on policing the streets. Armed robbery of pedestrians has increased. Corruption has increased. Police do not want to know about crime. British Vice Counsel complained to police and received no response. Mail between Latvia and UK going missing at Latvian end.

I've been going to Latvia for 7 years. I now consider the country too dangerous to be safe. This trip I had to have a bodyguard. He was quite busy!
 
Oct 15th, 2000, 04:13 PM
  #2  
Joanna
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My sister and her husband were in Latvia (Riga) about 2 months ago. Didn't mention any problems. And they were obvious tourists, going around with a video camera. Said they had a great time and walked everywhere.
 
Oct 15th, 2000, 05:13 PM
  #3  
Ed
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Odd. That certainly doesn't jibe with the US State Department's assessment of the situation in Latvia.
( http://travel.state.gov/latvia.html ) They're generally excessively alarmist.
Here's what they have to say about Latvia, which is quite similar to what they have to say about many western european countries, and certainly most eastern. And to those familiar with large US cities the words will sound familiar as well.

"SAFETY AND SECURITY: Civil unrest is not a problem in Riga and there have been no incidents of terrorism directed toward American interests. The U.S. is admired and incidents of anti-Americanism are rare though there were small demonstrations in front of the Embassy during the last year to protest American policy in Kosovo.

CRIME INFORMATION: The crime rate in Riga is rising, though generally, the crime is non-violent. Street crime is a concern, particularly for tourists. As in all cities, pickpockets are known to operate in all public areas (grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, bars, buses, and on the streets), and there have been cases of tourists and residents being drugged in bars and then taken outside or to their residence and robbed. In any public area, one should always be alert to being surrounded by two or more people at once. It is not uncommon for groups of juvenile pickpockets to attempt to overwhelm their victim. "
 
Oct 16th, 2000, 07:45 AM
  #4  
annika
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I'm sure this is just a stupid joke. I spent two weeks there last summer and there was nothing to worry about.
 
Oct 16th, 2000, 02:34 PM
  #5  
CA
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Annika - I don't know. I had been living in Poland for almost a year when my American friend and I decided to go on a trip to Vilnius, Litheuania, and Riga, Latvia. We had a wonderful time in Vilnius - very clean and safe and friendly people everywhere we went - but when we got off the bus in Riga the whole atmosphere changed. Like I said, I'd been living in "Eastern" Europe for almost a year, so I tried not to freak out and rush to judge the place. What was the first thing we saw? Two teenaged girls pickpocketing an old woman. There were way more poor people begging on the streets (which often gives the illusion of being unsafe) then in Poland or Litheuania, and some of them were quite perststant in their begging (touching and grabbing, etc.) We just didn't feel safe, and I'd rather trust the gut feelings than convince myself that everything is fine and end up robbed and out of luck. The city was beautiful, but I won't be going back too soon. I was only there for a short time though, and have talked to another guy who went there and had a blast - maybe it also had something to do with the fact that we were two young women alone, even though we were intelligent about travel and had been to other places alone -it's just my opinion.
 
Oct 18th, 2000, 02:19 AM
  #6  
annika
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CA, two girls pickpocketing and beggars?? wow REALLY dangerous! and as for being "two women alone", I was there by myself and I'm a woman too, and really had no problems whatsoever. of course there's pickpocketing and beggars, there are a lot of poor people so what did you expect?!?

i might add that i saw a lot of pickpocketing and even one robbery going on in warsaw but wouldn't dream of running around calling it "dangerous" just because of that. of course there are some dangers in latvia, just like anywhere else, but it's by no means too dangerous for a sensibly cautious person to visit!
 

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