Crime in Oman
Crime rate in Oman is low compared to industrialized countries. Incidents of serious crime are rare in the country. Incidents of petty crime including burglary and theft of property of foreign tourists are occasionally reported. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) describes the law and order situation in Oman as "generally good". Incidence of street crime is low. Violent crime occurs, but is extremely low compared to the United States.
Oman is a destination point for men and women mainly from South Asian nations like Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan who migrate willingly, but some of whom become victims of trafficking when subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers. Mistreatment includes non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement and withholding of passports, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Oman is also a destination point for women trafficked from Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Government of Australia and the FCO reported there are incidents where individuals presenting themselves as employees of the Ministry of Health have called private houses offering vaccinations against avian influenza (commonly known as Bird flu). But the Ministry of Health does not provide any service like this. Drugs are given to people as "vaccines" to make them unconscious and then they are robbed.
Threat of terrorist attack is a matter of concern. The DFAT advised travelers "to exercise a high degree of caution in Oman because of the high threat of terrorist attack". The United States Department of State expressed concern over possibility of terrorist attacks against citizens of the United States. According to the FCO, "there is an underlying threat from terrorism in Oman. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers".
Drug trafficking in general is low. However the amount of seized heroin in 1995 was 6.2 kg which was an increase compared to 1 kg in 1994. Oman has established an Inter ministerial committee for the purpose of overseeing drug framework matters. The country has a well organized Drug Control Unit to deal with drug trafficking. Oman is a party of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971).
According to Interpol data, criminal homicide rate in Oman decreased from 0.94 to 0.91 per 100,000 population between 1995 and 2000. It was a decrease of 3.2%. The rate of rape also decreased by 16.4%. But rate of robbery increased by 108.1%. While the rate of robbery was 1.24 per 100,000 population in 1995, it increased to 2.58 per 100,000 population in 2000. Similarly the rate of aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft increased by 10.7%, 57.7%, 317.8% and 112.2% respectively.
- Dilip K. Das, Michael Palmiotto (2006). World Police Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. p638. ISBN 0-415-94250-0.
- Oman Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Oman Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Oman United States Department of State
- Oman The World Factbook
- Country Profile - Oman United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime