Like most developing countries petty crime, especially thefts of personal property and pick-pocketing are not uncommon. Most violent crime occurs within the local community, with rare occasions of violent crime directed at foreigners.
You will find street hustlers or "touts" are mostly around hotels, shopping centers, and tourist sites. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't, you will need to keep your wits about you, as most people are just trying to make ends meet and feed their family.
The locals are generally friendly and welcoming, so by and large, most female travelers have a safe and fun time in Sri Lanka.
The violent crime in Sri Lanka you could encounter, including sexual assault and robbery. Pick-pocketing, bag snatching and other petty crime occurs, particularly in crowded places such as markets, sporting events and on public transport. Thefts also occur in hotels and guest houses.
Sexual harassment and assault are risks, particularly in areas frequented by foreigners and when using public buses or three-wheeled vehicles (tuk tuks). Verbal harassment, physical advances, drink spiking and sexual assaults have been reported.
Credit card fraud, including skimming, occurs frequently. Some traders overcharge foreigners for goods or services. Some tourists unwittingly buy counterfeit goods, particularly jewellery and gems.
- Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
- Don't tempt thieves – avoid wearing expensive watches, jewellery and cameras.
- Avoid carrying bags that are easy to snatch.
- Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly in crowded areas.
- Never accept food, drinks, gum or cigarettes from strangers. Never leave drinks unattended.
- If you aren't sure if a drink is safe, leave it.
- Stick with people you trust at parties and in bars, nightclubs and taxis.
- If you're female and travelling alone, be alert and organise your travels only through reputable travel companies. More information: Female travellers
- Seek advice from your credit card provider on how to best protect against credit card fraud.
- Only use ATMs attached to banks and major hotels.
I have covered a few and obvious, I must say that the problem is not as bad as other countries I have visited.