United States: Police and Crime
POLICE AND CRIMEDespite its reputation, the U.S. is generally a very safe place to visit, and criminal activity is in decline. The crime rate in some cities may be high, but if you avoid the more dangerous areas and take basic precautions, your chances of becoming a victim are low. Inquire of your hotel staff or car rental staff which areas to avoid.
Leave most of your cash, traveler's checks, jewelry, and your nonessential valuables in your hotel safe. Carry photocopies of your passport instead of the original. Carry cash in a money belt, and use credit cards or traveler's checks for most transactions. Avoid being distracted by "helpful strangers" in crowded areas.
Foreign business visitors and tourists are often the target of thieves, so purses, laptops, and briefcases require additional security. Do not leave valuables in cars or on tables in cafes. Luggage theft at airports is quite common.
Many rental car agencies avoid designating their vehicles as rentals to avoid having their customers targeted. The police force is friendly, efficient, and generally respectful of an individual's rights, but most have few non-English language skills.