A glance at the travel advisories that the US government issues to its tourists shows how much safer travelling in India is
considered to be, compared to other global tourism hotspots. HT compares its advice on the crime risks in India with that on South Africa and Brazil:
The advisory spends a mere 200 words on the potential dangers travellers may face in India. The worst ones are bag-snatching in Delhi and sexual harassment or “eve-teasing”. Tourists are advised not to accept food offered on trains as it may be drugged and told that the non-violent theft of US passports from luggage is quite common on overnight trains and at airports.
The dangers in this country require four times as much text to cover. Common crimes highlighted include armed robbery, carjacking and “smash and grab” attacks on vehicles.
It also points out that South Africa has the highest incidence of reported rape in the world. Travellers are warned not to wear jewellery in public or make high-value purchases as this attracts robbers. Using ATMs after bank business hours is inadvisable for similar reasons.
Like South Africa, this is a country where robbery at gunpoint and carjackings are routine. Hold-ups at traffic lights are common. Added to this is the very present danger of kidnappings that can also result in rape or beatings for the victims.
The incidence of crime in general is supposed to be greater for visitors in tourist areas. Travellers are advised not to accept help with directions or communication from bystanders as such behaviour is often an excuse to victimise a tourist.
In fact, the variety and intensity of the crime risks mentioned require 1200 words to cover, six times as much as India.