Romania is a safe country, with the worst crimes being petty and non-violent. Corruption remains an ongoing concern, however, and is an unfortunate reality across many aspects of life in Romania. Despite this, expats who familiarise themselves with the country will feel secure in their new home.
Crime in Romania
Like in most countries, crime does occur Romania, but it's generally opportunistic in nature. The most common forms of crime in Romania are petty theft and pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas and on public transport in the larger cities.
Institutional crime, such as corruption, continues to be a problem and new arrivals are advised to be wary of officials demanding bribes or issuing fines. Due to this, there are certain areas within cities that expats should avoid. The most notorious in Bucharest is the Ferentari district, which is a predominantly socially disadvantaged area in the southern part of the city.
The Romanian government has tried to crack down on all forms of crime, including corruption and institutional crimes. Although the anti-corruption measures have not always been effective, there is evidence of some high-profile arrests in recent years.
Racial prejudices are also sometimes an issue in Romania, particularly with regard to the Roma people, who are often stereotyped as being thieves.
Credit card fraud in Romania
Credit card fraud is an ongoing problem in Romania, with foreigners being specifically targeted. Although most services in urban centres offer credit card payments, many expats prefer to use cash when making purchases in the country.
Stray dogs in Romania
Although the number of dogs roaming the streets has decreased dramatically in recent years, stray dogs are common in Romania, especially in Bucharest. Many people like to feed them and, as a result, dog bites do happen. The Romanian government has made a concerted effort in recent years to control the stray dog population, but it has come under increasing criticism for the cruelty of its campaign, with thousands of dogs being culled.
Expats are advised to avoid stray dogs where possible as some can be aggressive and may have rabies.
Emergency numbers in Romania
If expats find themselves in an emergency in Romania they should dial 112. Many operators do speak English.