Security in Puerto Plata
Security in the North Coast of the Dominican Republic has been rated as the best in the island, and this has a lot to do with the region being the largest tourism destination with the largest number of expat residents. There will be the possibility of petty theft when venturing out of the areas patrolled by the authorities, specially the tourist police, Politur. Avoid dark alleys and places that common sense tells you it is not safe, basically the same global rules travelers follow anywhere.
Tourism, Transit, Road Assistance:
It is useful to know the difference between the various public and private security institutions, and the roles each play in our day to day when traveling or living in the Dominican Republic:
- Politur: the tourist police is dedicated to the several tourist destinations inside the island, and they can be identified by the blue trousers and white shirts, sporting their distinctive logo badge. They are the first line of defense for tourists, and act quickly if a tourist requires assistance.
- National Police: The national police covers the entire island, and can also be useful where needed. Just be sure you get a translator because it is hard to find one of them who can speak a second language. Their uniform color is gray, with black tie and boots. Some sport military fatigues, in dark/light gray shades.
- Digesett: The former AMET is now called Digesett, an acronym for their institution. They control the flow of traffic and are quick to assist in the event of car accidents. They will also stop you for driving without buckling up, lack of license plates, yearly tax stickers, small children in front seat, etc.
- MOPC Road Assistance: This is the free road assistance, quite handy when your car breaks down, or has a flat tire in the middle of the highway. They will provide services and security where the other three above might not be present, specially when driving long distances between cities.
- 911 Line: All the above are available by calling the emergency line, 911, including ambulance, firemen, etc.
- Private Security: Most gated residential areas include full time private security as part of the HOA (home owners association) fees, including some owners in non gated areas that split the costs among the block residents. There are several companies offering these services, we will include them in a list.