Crime in the Dominican Republic

Crime in the Dominican Republic is investigated by the Dominican Republic National Police.

Crime by type


In 2012, the Dominican Republic had a murder rate of 22.1 per 100,000 population.[1] There were a total of 2,268 murders in the Dominican Republic in 2012.[1] By 2017, the murder rate had significantly declined. There were 1,198 murders in 2017, a rate of 14.9 per 100,000.[2]

Illegal drug trade

The Dominican Republic has become a trans-shipment point for Colombian drugs destined to Europe as well as the United States and Canada.[3][4] Money laundering via the Dominican Republic is favored by Colombian drug cartels for the ease of illicit financial transactions.[3] In 2004, it was estimated that 8% of all cocaine smuggled into the United States had come through the Dominican Republic.[5] The Dominican Republic responded with increased efforts to seize drug shipments, arrest and extradite those involved, and combat money-laundering.


Purse snatchers and briefcase thieves are known to work hotel bars and restaurants waiting for unknowing guests to place these items on chairs or under tables.[6] Pools or beaches are attractive areas for thieves.[6]

The most common type of crime are drive-by robberies that are normally performed by one or two assailants on a motorcycle, scooter, or even a bicycle.[6] The assailant will drive up and grab anything that is in arm's reach: purses, cellular phones, necklaces, etc..[6] In metropolitan Santo Domingo the majority of the motorcycle robberies occurred between 8pm and 11pm, with 85 percent of the motorcycles involved having two riders.[6]


Kidnapping is an issue in the Dominican Republic.[6] Victims reported that they were approached by men in police uniforms or similar clothing and were told that their identity needed to be verified.[6] Victims were then taken to an undisclosed location and held from a few hours to a couple of days.[6] During that time, abductors would contact family members and demand huge sums of money for the release of their loved ones.[6] Most families paid the amount, and the victims were released unharmed.[6]

By location

Santo Domingo

High crime areas in the capital include Arroyo Hondo, Naco, Gazcue, Cristo Rey and Villa Agricola.[6]Pantoja


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