Crime And Police In Estonia

Estonia is a relatively safe country in which to live and do business. Below you will find a general overview of law and order in Estonia.

Just like in many other larger towns, a certain level of street crime can be found in the centre of Tallinn, largely due to the large numbers of tourist that visit Estonia in the summer months. Visitors need to take the same precautions as in any other big town and be aware of pick pockets and bag snatchers, particularly in the Old Town, airport and harbor areas.

Estonia does not have a history of violent demonstration and the events of April 2007, which made the international news, when a number of demonstrators looted shops, is widely seen as a unique event, unlikely to be repeated. When demonstrations do occur, they are invariably small and peaceful.

The Estonian police force has increased its capabilities considerably over the last few years. The force is now well equipped and maintains a high profile, especially in Tallinn centre. Not all officers speak English very well, but all police stations will have some English speaking staff available.

Recently the Government has decided to combine all the three police forces in Estonia (traffic, municipal, border) into one combined police force in the near future. For now, when stopping you, police officers will always introduce themselves by name and from which unit they are.

Safety tips:

  • Be aware of pick pockets and bag snatchers
  • Avoid unlit areas at night as much as possible
  • Arrange meetings in busy places
  • Never leave any valuables unattended
  • Always use a hotel safe where possible
  • Avoid holding large amounts of cash in your possession
  • When using credit cards, do not let the card out of your sight
  • Be aware of overcharging by taxi drivers and ask the driver to inform you of the cost in advance (the fee per km is mentioned on the outside of the vehicle)
  • The national emergency number is 112

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