Croatia is a very safe tourist destination according to security indicators, but for the millions of tourists travelling to the Croatian coast by car every year, traffic accidents remain the biggest risk despite good roads, the police said on Thursday.
The number of traffic fatalities is a negative indicator, Assistant Police Commissioner Krunoslav Borovec said, presenting the Safe Tourism Season project, which the Interior Ministry has been implementing since 2006 in cooperation with the tourism sector and the police forces of other countries.
The traffic fatality rate per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe ranges from 45 to 65.
In the summer season last year Croatia had 150 traffic fatalities, 30 more than in the corresponding period in 2014.
Last year, 20 foreigners were killed and a little over 1,200 were injured in 8,000 traffic accidents.
Risk estimates show that the crime rate in Croatia is extremely low with 1,382 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, while the violence index, based on murder, rape, robbery and grave injury, is 55 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Over the past seven years, the trends in registered crime, public order and traffic over the summer were positive, but became negative in 2015, which the police ascribe to a higher number of tourists, rather than a deterioration in security.
In over 3,700 cases foreign tourists were the victims and in 1,061 cases they were the perpetrators.
"The risk of victimisation when it comes to foreign guests is extremely low. A survey showed the likelihood of a foreign guest in Croatia becoming the victim of a crime was lower than in their home countries," Borovec said, but added that, given the higher risk of traffic accidents, more should be done to warn foreigners to drive rested and ready.
The risk of a terrorist attack is on a scale of two out of five, which means there is no information which would indicate that the risk is real, only potential. As for migrations, the police said they would not affect the summer tourist season even if a migrant route was opened.
As part of the Safe Tourism Season project, 73 foreign police officers will be deployed along the Croatian Adriatic coast in July and August, from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, France, Kosovo, Hungary, Macedonia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Ukraine and Russia.
Croatia recorded 14.3 million tourist arrivals last year and this year they are expected to exceed 15 million.