For many families, theme park vacations top the list of some of their most cherished memories. Nothing compares to leaving reality to step into a magical land where anything feels possible. Whether you are boarding the Hogwarts Express or embracing a favorite mouse, theme park vacations are what dreams are made of. Many precious hours go into planning the perfect event where you and your children have the opportunity to don a Jedi robe and rush to fight the empire or take a plummet down a waterfall, narrowly escaping a T-rex.
The opportunity to enter this land and experience these awe-inspiring worlds is momentous. Yet, these moments can easily turn into nightmares as few consider the crime risk.
As tourism increases in an area, many individuals take advantage. Researchers have found that crime rates near theme parks tend to increase by 19% during holidays and peak times for theme park visits. Theme parks are major tourism destinations worldwide, attracting millions of visitors. A third of North America’s entire theme park attendance occurs in Orlando due to the presence of theme parks like Sea World, Legoland, Universal Studios, and Disney World. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows crime rates in Orlando are higher than the national average. In 2017, a total of 6,198 violent and property crimes were recorded compared with 2,756 nationally.
Continue reading to discover the most common crimes that occur inside and outside of the theme parks and to learn some tips on how you and your family can keep your theme park vacation magical.
Tourism impacts various facets of society, including the economy, culture, and environment. Even though there are many reasons why criminals specifically target tourists, some of the most common reasons include the fact that tourists tend to carry large amounts of cash and other valuables, like cameras. Tourists become vulnerable as they enter unfamiliar surroundings, and many fail to adhere to safety social norms, like ensuring to lock their vehicles or safety storing their possessions. Remember, tourists, while capable of being a victim, can also be a perpetrator of crimes in theme park destinations.
Here are the most common crimes that occur in theme parks.
Generally, inside the theme park, crime is incredibly low. However, according to recent articles and statistics provided by theme parks, the below are the most common crimes that occur inside theme parks.
A person commits theft if a person physically removes an object owned by another entity without the permission of the owner and with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the object. Specifically, in theme parks, the most common theft that occurs involves the theft of backpacks and purses as guests abandon their property to experience the rides within the park.
However, there are significant instances of theft from cars, as well as vehicles or parts of vehicles being stolen from the theme park properties. Additionally, shoplifting, committed by visitors of the park, charts the list of thefts that occur within the park.
The term violent crime covers a broad spectrum; however, inside the parks, the most common violent crimes include simple assault, aggravated assault, and sexual assault. A simple assault escalates to an aggravated assault when the person who commits the act does so with a “deadly weapon,” which can be classified as a booted foot or a lightsaber. Sexual assaults that occur within the park typically are committed against park employees/cast members.
In the area surrounding theme parks, here are the most common crimes that occur.
While property and violent crimes are also prevalent in the surrounding areas of theme parks, the classification and rates of theft and violent crimes increase. Violent crimes, such as murder, rape, and trafficking, rises to a rate of 8.28 per 1,000 residents. Property crime rates, including robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, rise to 36.8 per 1,000 residents.
You can keep your vacation magical and safe by following a few tips.
Complete Your Research Before You Travel!
Researching prior to beginning your trip provides you with a deep insight into the area, telling you places you want to avoid, as well as providing you with an endless amount of vital information that will aid your trip. Uninformed tourists annually become easy targets for scammers attempting to sell fake theme park tickets. Additionally, due to the high tourism and easy access to the I-4 corridor Central Florida possess a high number of human trafficking cases. By completing your research before your travel begins, your chances of encountering violent situations are significantly lowered.
Properly secure your belongings
Whether you are in your hotel, at a restaurant, or in a theme park, it is vital that you properly secure your valuables. Tourists tend to leave money and other valuables in unsecured locations with little security. If in theme parks, consider using the locker stations provided by the property. If in a restaurant or hotel, lock belongings in the glove box or trunk of your vehicle. By properly securing your belongings, you will reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a property crime and be able to avoid an eagle-eyed thief looking to take advantage of an easy target.
Supervise your children
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), approximately 2,000 children disappear in national theme parks each year. For theme parks in Central Florida, researchers at the University of Central Florida have estimated that more than 100 kids go missing every year from the local theme parks. While a vast majority of the kids go missing in Disney, Universal, and Sea World, this number could drastically reduce. Parents must work always keep an eye on their children while walking around these massive theme parks and, whenever possible, hold hands to avoid getting separated in the dense crowds. If your child does go missing, immediately alert park staff or security; cast members and park employees are trained to look for missing kids. Ensure your child knows your cell phone; however, if they are too young, consider purchasing temporary tattoos, like the SafetyTat, for your child with your phone number on it. Another idea would be to pick the tallest point in the park that can be seen anywhere in the park and tell your child if they are lost they are to meet you at that tallest point.
If you see something, say something
Theme Parks work hard to minimize risk. They adhere to strict regulations and abide by the industry’s commitment to safety. The employee services to increase and ensure safety monitoring occurs throughout the parks while collecting and reporting data to increase the safety of the millions of guests. For this reason, if you see something of concern, speak up to the proper authority.
Let Central Florida Bonding Help You
Has your magical vacation turned into a nightmare? Are you facing jail time and need assistance? Let our Orlando bail bond agents help you. There is a wide range of crimes we offer a bond for, including domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, drug paraphernalia, assault, battery, and theft, among others. If you need more information or would like our assistance to bond either yourself or a family member or friend from jail, call 407-841-3646 or visit share our website with others: https://cfborlando.com/
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