Personal Safety and Security Living in Indonesia


Personal Security Advice

General Advice
It is important to develop a strong sense of security alertness and to modify your behaviour to the environment in which you live. The following points are intended as guide to help you achieve these objectives:

  • Trust your instincts. If you are in a situation or location in which you feel uncomfortable, leave.
  • Always carry a Hand Phone with you when your going out and ensure the phone is good work order at all times. Ensure that you carry the list of Security Personnel numbers with you at all times.
  • Take a photocopy your passport or of your ID with you at all times.
  • Try to avoid carrying a brief case or wearing expensive jewellery or watches as this may be viewed as a sign of wealth. Try also to limit the amount of money you carry with you.
  • Always know where you are going. Always behave as though you know where you’re going. Display a confidence that you may not necessarily feel.
  • If you plan to use a taxi it is recommended that you use the Silver Bird Group.
  • Familiarize yourself with your neighborhood. Where is the nearest police post? Which stores, restaurants and businesses are open late at night?
  • Maintain a low profile. Inebriated individuals are an easy target and excessively loud talking or foul language may both offend and draw attention to you.
  • It is best to avoid dimly light or dark alleyways, streets or buildings alone after dark or in the early morning.
  • Work out various routes to work and vary your use of them including the time you depart for work and return home.
  • Identify routines, such as a regular sporting or social activities and change the time at which they occur.
  • Be alert to any evidence of surveillance of your house, office or travel route between the two. Serious attacks are usually preceded by a period of surveillance.
  • Call attention to yourself if you are in danger, shout, blow the horn of your vehicle, etc.
  • Do not place yourself in situations that may be expected to attract threats, e.g. political rallies.
  • Do not participate in activities involving prostitutes. It is against the law in Indonesia to engage in prostitution, either as a client or as a prostitute.
  • Do not use drugs. It is illegal and can carry the death penalty.

Walking on the Street
Pickpockets are the main threat when walking on the street, particularly in busy areas such as markets, shopping malls and the airport. The following points should be kept in mind if you plan to walk.

  • Always be aware and alert to your surroundings.
  • Keep wallets in the front trouser pockets or inside jacket pockets rather than in the back pockets.
  • Handbags must be kept zipped or closed.
  • Handbags must be held securely and carried on the side furthest from the road to discourage drive-by bag snatchers.
  • Purses must be kept secure and not carried in open shopping bags.
  • Avoid pedestrian footbridges or underpasses (very few in Jakarta).
  • Walk nearer to the curb to avoid passing too close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.
  • If you must use a personal stereo, i.e., a Walkman, keep the volume down low enough so that you can hear what’s happening around you
  • Beware of ‘accidental’ collisions that could be planned distractions for pickpockets.
  • Avoid well-known trouble spots, such as Tanah Abang.
  • Avoid being alone at night.
  • Carry spare ‘give-away’ cash in case of a robbery. DO NOT resist such an attack.
  • Avoid excessive displays of wealth. Do not carry large sums of cash unless absolutely necessary. Spread cash around your person so it is not in one large ‘wad’.
  • Be wary of suspicious characters loitering.
  • Be friendly, smile but be suspicious of people approaching you on the street.
  • Don’t be hassled by vendors. Stop looking at their merchandise and just say “Tidak” or “Terima Kasih”, and keep on walking.
  • Do not carry weapons for protection.
  • Do not accept lifts from strangers.

Credit Cards
There is a serious problem in Jakarta at the moment with ‘Credit Card Skimming”. The criminals will scan/skim the information from your credit card and duplicate the card. The first thing you will know about it will be when you start getting bills from exotic places for interesting services.

  • Do not allow your card out of your sight. For example, go with the waiter to observe the transaction.
  • Do not allow them to double swipe your card. This can be an indication of them attempting to ‘Skim’ your card.
  • If you suspect that your bill is being doctored or padded, bring it to the attention of the senior management (keeping in mind that you are in a reputable establishment). If you are still not satisfied, misrepresent your signature and inform your Credit Card Company ASAP.
  • Ensure that they do not place two payment slips in the card swipe machine, producing identical bills.
  • Keep a photocopy of your credit cards in your home safe and have ready access to the Credit Card Company emergency numbers.