Vientiane has not the reputation of being a city plagued by crimes or acts of violence. However, as the city grows quickly and as more cars hit the streets of the Laotian capital, there is an increasing need to ensure proper security for all citizens of the capital.
Laos official news agency KPL reports that the capital is consequently installing additional CCTV cameras and security alarm devices at over 790 locations to ensure the safety of people and their property .
The project started last week following the signing of an agreement worth over US$28 million between the Ministry of Public Security and China-based Golden Dragon Company. Once completed, incidents or offenses occurring in Vientiane Capital will be recorded and solved quickly following the government’s approval of a project to upgrade existing CCTV cameras and install additional ones as well as security alarm systems.
The CCTV network will also be upgraded from analogue to digital technology and all cameras will be centrally monitored from a new CCTV Control Centre at police headquarters. The CCTV Control Centre will be the inspection hub to check traffic in case of unexpected snatching, robberies or other criminal events on the roads in Vientiane Capital.
According to a 2015 report from OSAC, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a US bureau for diplomatic security, Vientiane remains a relatively safe city in comparison to most cities of comparable size in the USA. Visitors are generally safe and are not singled out or targeted based on nationality but can be targeted for petty theft.
Crime committed against foreigners is usually non-confrontational and primarily consists of purse snatchings, pickpocketing, and thefts of unattended property (purses/shopping bags). However, OSAC has seen a dramatic increase in purse snatchings, done by perpetrators on motorcycle. According to the report, risks of political violence and acts of terrorism remain low.