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Crime

United States: Department of State International Travel Information

Estonia is a relatively safe country, although sporadic crime in Tallinn’s Old Town is an ongoing concern, particularly during the summer tourist season. You should exercise the same precautions with regard to your personal safety and belongings that you would take in major U.S. cities. The most common crime encountered by foreign tourists in Estonia is pick-pocketing. Tourists are often targeted by individuals and small groups of thieves working together. In public places such as Tallinn’s Old Town, in particular the Town Hall Square (“Raekoja Plats”), the airport, train stations, bus stations, and the Central Market, you should exercise special care in safeguarding valuables against pick-pockets. Guard your valuables, especially purses and bags, while visiting busy cafés and restaurants. Do not leave valuables unattended in vehicles, and make sure car doors are locked at all times. 

From time to time, especially late at night near bars and night clubs, foreigners have been subject to scams, or have become involved in altercations, including some involving violence, with inebriated individuals. Common late night scams involve women enticing tourists in a reputable bar to visit a nearby bar where they are grossly overcharged. Although Estonian police have shut down several suspect bars over the past year, this remains a concern.

On occasion, U.S. citizens have reported that they were harassed for racial reasons or because they appeared or sounded “foreign.” These incidents have generally occurred outside of major tourist areas. Credit-card fraud is also an ongoing concern, as is Internet-based financial fraud and “Internet dating” fraud. You should take precautions to safeguard your credit cards and report any suspected unauthorized transaction to the credit card company immediately. If an incident occurs, you should report it promptly to the local policeThe Estonian police agencies are modern, well-equipped law enforcement entities on a standard comparable to most Western European police.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, by purchasing them you may also be breaking local laws.

VICTIMS OF CRIME

If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and theU.S. Embassy. We can:

Replace a stolen passport;

  • Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of a violent crime such as assault or rape;
  • Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and contact family members or friends; and
  • Help you understand the local criminal justice process and can direct you to local attorneys, although the local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

Even if you decide not to report a crime while in Estonia, but believe that some action should be taken, you can still file a police report after returning home to the United States by sending a letter or e-mail to the Estonian police. Please contact the Embassy so we can facilitate your communication with the police.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line for ambulance or fire in Estonia is 112. The emergency line for the police is 110. The non-emergency local number for the Estonian police is (372) 612-3000. Although many operators speak English, at times those answering this line may have minimal English speaking skills.

Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Advice

Street crime, including muggings and assault, occurs, particularly during the summer months. Petty crime, including bag snatching and pickpocketing, has been reported, particularly in the Old Town area of the capital, Tallinn. Travellers at airports, parks, train stations and around major hotels have been targeted, particularly after dark. Thieves often work together in small groups.

Incidents of car theft and theft from vehicles are common.

Credit card fraud and internet-based crime, including dating and financial scams, have been reported.

The emergency contact number for the police is 110.

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice

There has been an increase in tourist-targeted crime, particularly petty theft. Be aware of the risk of pick pocketing and mugging, especially in bars, pubs, nightclubs and hotels in Tallinn’s Old Town. Be vigilant, take sensible precautions and avoid unlit side streets and parks at night. If possible, leave your valuables in a hotel safe.

You should report any theft in person to Tallinn Central Police Station, Kolde pst 65, 10321 Tallinn, telephone: +372 612 5400. You will need to obtain a police report if you have lost your passport.