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Crime and Safety

Jordan - Crime and Safety

Crime in Jordan is not generally a serious problem; however, local media sources have reported a slight increase in petty crime. Travellers are encouraged to be more guarded in areas such as narrow streets and poorly lit areas, particularly in the older parts of Amman that are crowded, as these conditions invite pickpockets and other petty crimes. Jordanian police encourage the public to be vigilant particularly when using banks and ATM machines. Jordan is a conservative society; you are reminded to dress modestly and to behave courteously.

Western women visiting Jordan as well as residents have reported cases of sexual harassment, stalking and unwelcome sexual advances. There have also been reports of assault involving taxi drivers; many of the incidents have involved verbal sexual harassment, staring, indecent exposure and abduction. Women are being encouraged to take precautions such as dressing conservatively, not travelling alone and avoiding travelling to unfamiliar areas at night and they should always be carrying a mobile phone.

The local number to call in Jordan in case of an emergency is 191. Victims of crime abroad should contact the nearest police station. If you are visiting an area unfamiliar to you it is wise to check the location of the nearest police station so you know exactly where you need to go for help.

The threat of terrorism remains relatively high in Jordan, as terrorist groups and less sophisticated local elements have proved capable of organizing and implementing attacks in Jordan. The Iraqi based Al-Qaida network continues to carry out terrorist activity against the United States and Jordanian government and this group were also responsible for the November 9, 2005, bombings of three international hotels in Amman, Jordan's capital, in which 60 people were killed and over 100 injured. The Al-Qaida were also responsible for the rocket attacks at Aqaba on 19 August, 2005, targeting a United States naval ship.

Terrorists never really make the distinction between officials and ordinary citizens. Areas such as tourist sites, bars and restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and large transportation hubs as well as expatriate residential areas and schools may be targeted by terrorists. In light of this knowledge, citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant at all times, be aware of their surroundings and increase their security awareness. Maintaining a low profile and making sure their movements are unpredictable is urged.

Following any important events related to Israeli/Palestinian or Iraqi issues, there may be random acts of terrorism against Westerners.

It is a good idea to check with the Foreign Office in your home country prior to travelling for the latest information and advice on travelling to Jordan. They will be able to inform you if security alerts are high and if there are any additional precautions that you can take.

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