Public Services in Bogotá


Emergency services in Bogotá


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The general emergency telephone line is: 123 (free of charge).

Firemen

Bomberos: 119

Police

Emergencias / Policia: 156, 112

Ambulance

Servicio de Ambulancias: 132

Other emergency services

Local information: 113

Emergencies relating to corruption, extortion, drug trafficking, gunpowder or similar incidents can also be reported online at SeguridadEnLinea.com

Additionally, in Bogotá all neighborhoods have a proximity police unit (CAI), responsible for overseeing the area safety. Locate the nearest one and don't hesitate to ask for assistance if needed.

Safety in Bogota

Despite the fact that Bogota has historically had a reputation as rather unsafe, enormous progress has been made in the past decade, and it is currently a reasonably safe city by Latin American standards.

Nevertheless, pickpockets and muggings are common, and it is advisable to take the some basic precautions at all times, especially late at night and in crowded places.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Never accept drinks or cigarettes from strangers in bars or restaurants. Although declining, attacks with scopolamine, a powerful local drug, are still common in party areas around town. Scopolamine acts within seconds, and its symptoms are dizziness, confusion and a temporary loss of will that make victim follow the assailant's instructions. If you feel you may have been subject to an attack, ask for help immediately.
  • Do not hail taxis on the street, especially at night. Short-term kidnappings and robberies may happen with unauthorized taxis. Always call a taxi using apps that clearly identify the driver's name and license plate and write down the license plate for future reference.
  • Make sure the taxi meter is on when you get in a taxi, and if you are unsure of the final fare, ask to check it with the fare list that should be displayed on the back of the driver's seat.
  • Avoid walking alone at night and avoid poorly-lit areas.
  • Be wary of entering neighborhoods you are unfamiliar with, or driving through unpaved roads within the city, as these may pose a risk to your safety.
  • Don't leave your belongings unattended in public places.
  • Pickpocketing is common in public transport. Avoid entering overly crowded buses, and if you do, don't carry valuable objects in your pockets and make sure you keep your bags at the front.
  • Fake police scams are infrequent but may happen. Never accept for any policeman to take you anywhere that is not a CAI.
  • Traffic in Bogota can be rather aggressive with cyclists and pedestrians. Be cautious when cycling outside the specifically designated cycling lanes and when crossing the street.
  • Terrorism threats are low nowadays in the Colombian capital, but do keep in mind that due to the country's political circumstances, occasional terrorist attacks happen and cannot be avoided.
  • Periodic protests and marches are organized throughout the year, and although they don't always become violent, it is best to avoid the areas concerned.

Natural Precautions

Tap water in Bogota is safe to drink, and the risk of natural hazards is rather low.

Update 20/08/2018

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