U.S. Citizen Message
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Safety Reminder
November 28, 2014
As we enter the holiday season, we remind you that there is always an increase in criminal activity (petty street crime, residential burglary, and violent crimes) around this time of year, especially in the cities of Douala and Yaounde. The best security practices begin at home; please take a few moments to review security procedures with all members of your household.
While at Home:
- Ensure that your vehicle gate and residence doors are locked at all times, even if you are at home.
- Close and lock your windows at night.
- Use your residential alarm, if you have one.
- Do not leave money, jewelry, or other small high value items lying about the house.
- Never hide a spare key to your residence under a mat or near an entrance to your residence.
- Repair any broken locks, alarms, grills, exterior lighting, etc.
While in town:
- Avoid walking on the streets at night. Travel by car whenever possible.
- Ensure that your car is in good working condition.
- Avoid traveling in isolated areas.
- Park only in well-lit and unconcealed areas at night.
- Keep emergency equipment in your vehicle and make sure you have a cell phone with you.
- Vary your routes and times from home to work and vice versa.
- Remain alert and be aware of your surroundings. The more security conscious you appear, the less attractive a target you will be.
- Lock your vehicle doors immediately upon entering. If you have children, put them in the car, get in, lock the doors and then put on everyone’s safety belt.
- Do not leave valuables, bags, backpacks, laptops, mobile phones, etc. inside your vehicle in plain sight.
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows up while driving.
- Avoid crowded places and demonstrations.
- Be especially cautious when entering/leaving restaurants, bars and clubs at night.
If you are the victim of a crime:
- In most cases, it’s best to comply and not fight back.
- If possible, seek shelter in a nearby restaurant, business or hotel.
- Seek assistance from police/gendarmes if they are nearby.
- If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Cameroon has no local equivalent to the “911” emergency line; dial 112 in major cities to contact ambulance services.
Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Cameroon enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Cameroon. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy Yaounde is located at Rosa Parks Avenue and is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, and on Friday from 7:30am to 12:30 pm. Tel. 237-2-2220-1500 ext. 4341. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy is 237-2-2220-1500.
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