Security & Crime in Costa Rica. Free video with Attorney Rick Philps.

The perception of the general population is that insecurity and crime are on the rise in Costa Rica. As such no surprise that many polls demonstrate that one of the top concerns of citizens in Costa Rica is security. In order to put perceptions and actual numbers in perspective I have set forth some of the crime statistics below:

The Crime Numbers

The State of The Nation (Estado de La Nacion) report (download here) which was recently published indicates the following regarding crime in Costa Rica.

In 2010 there were 235,195 criminal offenses reported which was a 1.7% increase over the previous year.

The homicide rate in Costa Rica for 2010 was 11.5 for every 100,000 inhabitants. There were 527 homicides reported in 2010. Most of the homicides 30% to 40% are drug related. Those related to a robbery or an assault were 22% [115 cases].


The graph tracks the homicide rate for Central America from 2000-2010. Costa Rica still has the lowest rate in Central America.

The rate of crimes against property (burglary, theft, include vehicle theft) for 2010 was 1,825 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants. Just as a comparison the rate in the United States for 2010 was 2,941 per 100,000. (Source: Crime in the United States, FBI)

Police Forces

A common complaint among citizens is that there is not enough police presence. As such, I was surprised with the comparisons below which puts Costa Rica at comparable levels with other countries.

The Costa Rican Criminal Code and Justice System rely heavily on rehabilitation and as such is light on punishment. There is no law that punishes repeat offenders and hence the public perception that the criminal justice system is just a revolving door. The current model dates back to the 1970’s and Costa Rica needs to take a closer look at the current system.

Costa Rica Attorney Roger Petersen & Attorney Rick Philps.


Costa Rica Attorney Roger Petersen & Attorney Rick Philps.




Written and copyright by Attorney at Law – Roger A. Petersen. Roger has been an attorney since 1992 and is a member of both the Costa Rican and Florida Bar. He practices law in San José, Costa Rica and is the author of the best-selling book The Legal Guide To Costa Rica which you can order from Barnes & Noble here or from Amazon.com here. Attorney Petersen’s website can be found at Petersen & Philps Law Offices.




To speak with Attorney Roger Petersen and Attorney Rick Philps and about hiring them as your Costa Rica attorneys, please contact them using the information below:

Lic. Roger A. Petersen and Lic. Rick Philps – Attorneys at Law

Escazu, San José, Costa Rica

Tel: 506-2288-2189 Ext. 101 or 2288-6228 Ext. 101

You can email Attorney Roger Petersen by clicking here.

You can visit the Petersen and Philps Law Offices Website here.

You can visit the CostaRicaLaw website here.

About the Author:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *