Cyprus is known as a safe place one can live, in comparison with other competitive Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. Despite past violence and the consequent occupancy of the northern part of the country by the Turkish, statistics for the Republic of Cyprus point to a crime rate that is lower than that of most other western European countries. Namely, a rate of 6.44 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants shows a low incidence of crime in Cyprus, which is, as a matter of fact, only one tenth of the average rate of the other European countries.
Reports on violent crime such as robberies, rapes, kidnappings and murders, are either extremely rare on the island or inexistent, when, vandalism and hooliganism are practically un-heard of. But in contrast to the available statistics, there is actually quite a substantial level of unreported criminal activity in the Republic. Specifically, these unreported crimes, mainly consist of petty thievery, such as your non-Cypriot neighbour stealing your lawnmower or your broom.
While illegal drug activity in Cyprus is considered low by the standards of most countries, officials from the immigration and customs department, continue to report increase in the amount of illegal drugs such as hashish and marijuana, imported in the country. Foreign visitors are the principal source of this importation. The Drug Enforcement Agency with its well trained officials and is making an effective job with constant checks, onsets and arrestments of any suspect, in every airport and harbor and also the entries from the north Turkish occupied part. Penalties are heavy for the importation and/or sale of any quantity of illegal drugs in Cyprus.
Visitors would be well advised to avoid night spots after midnight, particularly "Cabarets". Foreign visitors to Cabarets often find they are overcharged for drinks, particularly when paying by credit card. While the police does not close the eyes to this practice, they rarely sympathize with you if you become a victim of such scam. However you have nothing to worry about by avoiding such places. One should also avoid visiting the Turkish occupied part, as crime is not under the control of the Republic of Cyprus and Cyprus and European Laws are not applied in case something happens to you.
The Cypriot Police Force is considered to be professional, although resources can sometimes be limited. Nevertheless, response times to incidents involving life or personal safety are very good and considered to be on the same level with most European countries.
Despite the above, one will find that in residential areas, people rarely lock their cars, the locals many times tend to leave windows or even doors of their house open, something that shows hospitality and trust. Children and the elderly can walk the streets without any supervision, day or night and the environment is warm and welcoming. This is all due to the honesty and friendliness of the local population, the closeness of family ties, a sense of honor and reputation, along with the social requirement of education and achievement for all its members. Visitors are consistently surprised and reassured by this relaxed, carefree aspect of life on the island, where crime is virtually unheard of and theft not commonplace. This explains why people return year after year in Cyprus.
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