As the holiday season approaches, the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou reminds everyone to practice good security habits. Benin has traditionally experienced an increase in crimes of opportunity such as robberies, pick-pocketing, purse snatching, thefts from vehicles, and residential break-ins during the holiday season.
The Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and use extreme caution while walking before dawn or after dusk. All U.S. citizens are advised to practice sound security measures at home and in public. If traveling during the holidays, it is important to lock up all valuables in your home and use your security alarms (if applicable). Avoid carrying valuables in public and be alert to the possibility of street crime, especially in crowded areas. Below are a few simple steps that will help increase your personal security:
- Travel in groups when possible, plan ahead of time and know how to reach your destination without getting lost.
- Do not resist if you are attacked for money or goods.
- Avoid exercise activities in public spaces by yourself before dawn or after dusk.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid poorly lit areas lacking in security.
- Do not carry excessive amounts of money, jewelry or large handbags when in public.
- Keep doors and windows locked in your homes and vehicles.
- If you have security systems on your home or property, make sure to properly use them.
For more information:
- See the State Department’s travel websitefor the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for the Republic of Benin.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the S. Embassy in Cotonou, located at Boulevard de la Marina, at + (229) 21-30-66-82 from Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(229) 21-30-75-00.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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