Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Crime Awareness and Personal Safety

The U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal reminds U.S. citizens that an increase in the frequency of crimes often coincides with the holidays. With the approach of the Tabaski Holiday next week, the U.S. Embassy in Dakar reminds all U.S. citizens to practice good security habits. The U.S. Embassy in Dakar will be closed for the holiday on Friday, September 1 and closed for Labor Day Monday, September 4.

Crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse snatching, thefts from vehicles, snatch and grab, etc., are more common during holiday periods, as well as residential break-ins and thefts from garages and yards.

U.S. citizens are advised to practice good security at home and on the streets. Lock up cash, jewelry and other valuables at home. Avoid carrying valuables in public and be alert to the possibility of street crime. Below are a few simple steps to help increase your personal security:

  • Exercise good judgment and caution in areas when visibility is diminished.
  • Use home alarm systems, and keep doors and windows locked.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at home, in your car, and when walking in public places.
  • Refrain from carrying purses or backpacks that may attract unwanted attention.
  • Do not carry excessive amounts of cash or flaunt expensive accessories, especially electronics.
  • Maintain a low profile and do not engage in activities that may draw extra attention.
  • The old adage of safety in numbers holds true. Always have a plan and know how to reach your destination without getting lost.
  • Give preference to well-lit establishments that offer a security presence.

In light of current terrorists attacks in the region and around the world, please review the Worldwide Caution, Country Information, and recent security messages for security guidance.

To stay in touch with the U.S. Embassy:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Senegal Country Specific Information
  • .If you wish to participate in the optional SMS/text messaging program to receive security notices via text message, please send an email to for additional information.
  • The U.S. Embassy is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Fridays and you may call +221 33 879 4000 during normal business hours or +221 33 879 4444 during after-hours.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.