Safety Options for Expats

  • Bangalore is a relatively safe city, though, like any major city, common sense should be exercised and standard precautions should be taken. Organized crime has little presence in the city, however, pick-pocketing and burglary does exist like anywhere else, perhaps added to due to the great divide between wealthy and poor. That said, weapons are not common and the burglary/theft that does occur usually doesn’t involve any harm or even confrontation. Most often, the thefts are committed while the home is free of people or all have retired for the evening. Gated communities and apartments with security are the easiest way to avoid any such threats. Keep your valuables tucked away and always with you – there’s no need to invite opportunity. Foreigners tend to stick out and are therefore the likely victims of small scams, pick-pocketing and being overcharged. It’s more common to be wisely cheated out of your money than to have it actually stolen from you. Ask questions and try to get an idea of how much something costs before the bill arrives. When travelling by auto rickshaw, have an idea of the distance to be covered so that you aren’t taken in circles to hike up the meter tariff. At home, it’s advised to keep your doors locked and, if on the ground floor (or easily accessible from the ground floor), ensure there are bars on the windows (this is standard in most homes). This also keeps monkeys out while allowing for the breeze to enter. If you have staff at home or many people passing through, it’s a good idea to keep valuables like jewels and money hidden or locked away, especially while getting to know your staff, so as not to tempt any misconduct. Women are not targeted in particular, but of course should always be mindful, particularly after dark. Again, take precaution to avoid being alone outdoors after nightfall and unwanted attention by dressing culturally appropriate.Street traffic is probably the biggest safety threat, though all the traffic jams mean little movement and reduced speeds. Be wary on the roads, whether on foot or vehicle, for the unexpected. Following traffic signs and signals is not enough. There is a lot of commotion generally requiring the driver’s full attention, such as vehicles going the wrong way down a one-way street without headlights.Also see the general health section for information on health threats like mosquito-borne diseases and unsafe drinking water.