(WJW) – The U.S. Department of State reissued a travel advisory for the Dominican Republic warning travelers to exercise increased caution due to the high level of crime in the country.

According to the state department, concerns include violent crimes such as armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault.

While resort areas tend to be better policed, urban areas like Santo Domingo remain a concern, the government warns.

Here’s what they recommend:

  • If robbed, hand over your personal belongings without resisting.
  • Do not carry or wear valuable items that will attract attention.
  • Be wary of strangers.
  • Travel with a partner or group if possible.

The wide availability of weapons, illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on a broader scale, the government warns.

Travelers are advised to be aware of their surroundings and follow the advice of resort and tour operators regarding local safety and security concerns.

The government recommends preparing a contingency plan for emergency situations.