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Oman - Crime and Safety

The crime rate in Oman is very low when it is compared with that of other countries. Petty street crime is the most common, with tourists falling prey to bag snatchers and pick pockets.

Violent crime is very rare but it does occur on occasion. It is advised that visitors to the country take the usual precautions, such as not walking alone in an unfamiliar area at night and not walking around with valuables on their person. There is no organised crime in the country and this is put down to its strong religious principles and a fair and honest police force. The police have a high profile and a strong presence on the streets which acts as a reasonable deterrent to would-be criminals. There is a strong emphasis on the prevention of crime which is instrumental in keeping the crime rates low.

The police department has been strongly influenced and trained by other police forces around the world. Police officers from countries such as the United States and the UK have served in the Omani police force while the force brought itself up to date with the latest in forensic technologies, although there are now more fully trained police officers who are Omani citizens.

If you are the victim of crime you need to call the local police on 9999. If your passport is stolen then you should also contact your embassy or consulate. The embassy staff can help you if you should need medical assistance and contact people at home for you. They can also help if you require legal assistance and can guide you through the Omani justice system.

Omani law means that angry confrontations can lead to defamation law suits and these types of cases are on the increase, particularly among drivers on Omani roads. If you have been accused of a crime you will not be allowed to leave the country while the case is continuing. The number of expats involved in these types of cases is also on the increase. In order to avoid causing offence, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the laws and customs of the country.

It is the responsibility of the expat to make themselves aware of any laws which may be different from those they are used to at home. Being unaware will not serve as a sufficient defence.

Being in possession of or passing on narcotic substances is illegal and the penalties can be harsh, with long jail terms and severe fines being regularly imposed upon offenders.

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