Of course, figures fluctuate depending on the political and economic context, but one thing is certain: the vast majority of crimes perpetrated against foreigners in Thailand are small in nature: bag snatching, pickpocketing, tuk tuk scams, and so on. These crimes usually go unreported by their victims because they believe that they can get away with it or because speaking English isn't enough to report them.
Thailand has some of the highest rates of crime against tourists in the world. In fact, according to the United States Department of State, it is one of the most dangerous countries in which to travel. Pickpocketing, motorbike stealing, and robbery are all common practices here. Visitors should not assume that they will be able to leave their valuables unattended on the street and expect them to be there when they return. Theft from hotels is common practice - especially in large cities like Bangkok - so keep an eye on your belongings.
If you do find yourself in need of police assistance, there are two ways to contact them: call the Tourist Assistance Center (24 hours), or use a foreign citizen emergency number. The first option is free, while the second costs 100 baht ($3).
Thailand has a bad reputation for its strict drug laws, but using drugs in public is a criminal offense punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Thailand has a relatively high crime rate when compared to other Asian countries. Thais are usually law-abiding people, although there is a lot of drug misuse in the nation, which leads to thefts and small crimes, as well as very significant crimes on occasion.
Thai police make every effort to prevent crime, but they have limited resources at their disposal. The best way for tourists to avoid crime is by following common sense precautions and by not doing anything that might attract crime, for example, leaving valuables in vehicles. It's also important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you see something suspicious, call someone else or the police immediately.
Thailand has a good public transportation system, with buses, minivans, and taxis available day and night. However, use caution when taking taxis at any time of day or night. There have been reports of thieves posing as cabs to take unsuspecting passengers to areas where they can steal belongings left in open windows.
It's best to stay away from areas that are known for criminal activity such as red lights districts and bars where drug abuse is common. These areas should be avoided at all times. If you do find yourself in need of help, call a taxi or ask someone for directions to a hospital.
Thailand has a high level of official corruption. Violent crime climbed by 8.6 percent during the same time period...
Bangkok, Thailand has a high crime rate.
|Level of crime||42.07||Moderate|
|Problem people using or dealing drugs||53.20||Moderate|
|Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft||43.44||Moderate|
|Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery||39.86||Low|
|Problem corruption and bribery||83.78||Very High|
Shoplifting in Thailand is punishable by years in prison, according to the Thai criminal law code. People accused for stealing or shoplifting are held in jail for 6–12 months while their cases are reviewed by the Thai legal system. If convicted of a second offense, people will be sent to prison for 2–5 years.
In addition to imprisonment, victims of theft may also receive medical bills, deportation, and exclusion from future travel documents. To reduce your risk of being arrested for theft in Thailand, don't carry too much money, don't wear expensive-looking clothes, and don't act suspiciously. Also, do not carry a phone in public out of concern that it could be used as evidence against you.
Thailand's penal code states that "anyone who commits an offence without intending to make any profit from it or using force is considered to have done so out of necessity." Under this rule, those who steal to meet basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter cannot be punished with prison time.
If you're arrested for theft in Thailand, you have the right to a lawyer and to see what evidence police have against you. You can also request that your fingerprints be removed from government databases.