Luxembourg 2016 Crime & Safety Report
Travel Health and Safety; Transportation Security; Stolen items; Information Security; Burglary; Theft; Cyber; Drug Trafficking
Europe > Luxembourg; Europe > Luxembourg > Luxembourg
Overall Crime and Safety Situation
Post Crime Rating: Low
Luxembourg is a safe, modernized country with infrastructure, services, and amenities similar to those found in the U.S. The general crime rate in Luxembourg is below the U.S. national average. Most crimes against U.S. citizens are considered petty street crimes and crimes of opportunity. Pickpocketing occurs with some regularity, often at popular tourist sites, where victims are likely to be carrying cash for shopping and are usually distracted. A small number of U.S. passports were reported stolen at Findel International airport this year; in each case the passport was left unattended for a short period, again indicating a crime of opportunity rather than specific targeting. Police report that home burglaries increased approximately five percent over the past year, with the highest number occurring during the summer months or over school holidays when residents were likely to be on vacation. In the vast majority of these cases, burglaries occurred when the home was unoccupied; home invasions or burglaries when the residence was occupied are rare.
Violent crime is rare but does exist. There were a small number of homicides, none of which affected the U.S. citizen community. Additionally, there were no reports of U.S. individuals being subjected to aggravated robberies (robberies involving a weapon); however, a small number of private local businesses were robbed at gunpoint.
While service providers are modern and efficient, they are susceptible to hacking and unauthorized intrusions. Users should have anti-virus software installed on any computer hooked up to the Internet and should exercise caution when downloading files or following links sent from unknown email addresses. Spearphishing attacks are also common; however, they are generally easy to recognize and can be avoided by simply deleting the email.
Other Areas of Concern
There are no areas of Luxembourg that are considered “off limits” for U.S. government personnel. The neighborhood surrounding the main train station, referred to locally as the “Quartier Gare,” does have a slightly higher crime rate than the rest of the city. While the train station itself is considered safe, travelling the side streets that intersect the area, particularly at night, can expose individuals to a greater risk for becoming a victim of crime. Most of the adult entertainment clubs are found in this area, and open prostitution and narcotics trafficking occurs on a small scale. While police maintain a continuous presence and work diligently to enforce the law, when contrasted with the level of safety found in the rest of the city, the Quartier Gare is an area of concern.
Road Safety and Road Conditions
Main roads and highways are often comparable to those found in the U.S. Well-illuminated and well-maintained, they present no inherent dangers for motorists. Many towns and villages are connected by smaller, older, and more challenging roads, which are often winding and not illuminated. Drivers should use caution travelling outside of major thoroughfares.
Drivers should also carry a blank accident report in their vehicle, available through all local insurance companies. This report is necessary for any accident not involving injury; typically, police do not respond to these types of accidents, and it is the driver’s responsibility to exchange information and file the report with their insurance companies. In the event of injury, police should be notified immediately.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a concern. Police report that a majority of accidents may be attributed to an impaired driver. While laws concerning driving under the influence of alcohol are not as strict as most found in the U.S., it is illegal, and drivers face substantial fines if caught.
Public Transportation Conditions
Luxembourg has an excellent record regarding public transportation. Virtually every part of the country is reachable by bus or train; both are safe and reliable. Within the city, it is not uncommon to see young children riding public buses unaccompanied by adults, as Luxembourgers have a high level of confidence in their public transportation.
The main airport is approximately 15 minutes from the city center. Although small, Findel Airport is well equipped to handle the volume of international traffic it receives annually. There are no direct flights from Luxembourg to the U.S. Airport security procedures are similar to those found throughout Western Europe and meet all U.S. aviation standards. Passengers and cargo are screened using modern equipment, by a cadre of trained aviation security professionals.
Post Terrorism Rating: Low
Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns
While there are no known indigenous terrorist organizations operating in Luxembourg, the country shares regional concerns with its neighbors: France, Belgium, and Germany. All three of these countries have witnessed either terrorist attacks or major terrorism-related arrests in 2015, with several arrests occurring only miles from the Luxembourg border. Additionally, approximately a half dozen Luxembourgish citizens have travelled to Syria and Iraq in support of ISIL. While support for ISIL and other violent ideological groups remains extremely isolated, especially when contrasted with its neighbors, it does exist.
Generally, the U.S. is held in high regard throughout Luxembourg, owing largely to American efforts in liberating Luxembourg from Nazi occupation during World War II. Many local monuments fly Luxembourgish and American flags jointly.
Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence
Post Political Violence Rating: Low
Protests tend to be small, well-organized, and non-violent and are generally sanctioned in advance by local authorities. Civil unrest, to include labor strikes, is extremely rare. The government is highly permissive in allowing freedom of assembly, and groups wishing to hold protests or rallies need only apply for a permit to do so. These gatherings are virtually free of violence, proceed according to pre-arranged plans, and are generally without incident.
Although predominantly Catholic, Luxembourg has a long history of religious tolerance and acceptance of its ever-increasing ethnic diversity. Violence stemming from either of these areas is virtually non-existent.
Critical Infrastructure Concerns
The Catanom nuclear power plant is approximately 45 minutes from the capital city, across the border in France. While there has never been a hazardous incident at the plant, should one occur it would likely affect Luxembourg.
Both as a matter of governmental policy and cultural belief, Luxembourg is extremely protective of individual rights to privacy. Numerous laws are in place to protect these rights, which are considered inviolable and are among the strongest in the EU.
There have been several high-profile drug-related arrests in 2015; however, drug-related violence is rare. Illegal drugs, most commonly marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, exist but are generally confined to low-level street transactions in the neighborhood around the main train station.
Luxembourg employs a well-trained and well-equipped modern police force, which places a great emphasis on customer service. Police are highly professional and can be relied upon for assistance. Many speak English, and the general emergency number, 112, will always have an English speaking operator available.
How to Handle Incidents of Police Detention or Harassment
Any U.S. citizen detained by authorities should request immediate notification to the U.S. Embassy Consular section. (+352) 46 01 23.
Crime Victim Assistance
To contact police directly, dial 113.
The general emergency number is 112, which includes police, fire, and ambulance services.
Law enforcement agencies fall under the authority of the Ministry of Interior. They are organized similarly to those in the U.S., with local police responsible for the day-to-day enforcement of criminal law, traffic regulations, and incident response. Additionally, there are specialized units responsible for investigations and crisis response.
Medical care is comparable to that found in the U.S. Professionally trained health care providers work in modern and well-equipped facilities throughout the country. There are four general hospitals in Luxembourg City; emergency rooms operate on a 24-hour rotational basis. The on-call emergency room is obtained by dialing 112.
Contact Information for Recommended Hospitals/Clinics
Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg
4 rue Barblé, L-1210
78 rue d’Eich, L-1460
9 rue Edward Steichen, L-2540
36 rue Zithe, L-2763
Recommended Air Ambulance Services
Luxembourg Air Rescue (LAR)
175a rue de Cessange, L-1321
+352 48 90 06
Recommended Insurance Posture
Emergency room visits are generally free of charge; however, extended medical care will require either U.S. or local insurance.
Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance
For additional information on vaccines and health guidance, please visit the CDC at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/luxembourg.
OSAC Country Council Information
Point of Contact – U.S. Embassy Luxembourg Regional Security Officer Darren Adler (+352) 46 01 23, AdlerDM@state.gov. To reach OSAC’s Europe team, please email OSACEUR@state.gov.
U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information
Embassy Address and Hours of Operation
United States Embassy Luxembourg
22 Blvd. Emmanuel Servais
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri, 08:30 – 17:30
Embassy Contact Numbers
Main switchboard: (+352) 46 01 23
U.S. tourists do not need a visa to enter Luxembourg. Individuals intending to reside and/or work in Luxembourg should visit the government of Luxembourg’s official website to ensure compliance with laws. http://www.luxembourg.public.lu/en/.
American citizens residing in Luxembourg for an extended period should consider registering with the U.S. Embassy. Contact Consular Services at +352 46 01 23.
Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
Situational Awareness Best Practices
As most crimes in Luxembourg are crimes of opportunity, by taking simple precautions and maintaining a heighted level of awareness, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.
When travelling in common tourist areas, do not display large amounts of cash. Men should carry wallets in the front pocket of their pants, women should ensure bags are secured and held firmly while walking through crowds.
Avoid travelling alone on small side-streets after dark, particularly in the Quartier Gare neighborhood.
At home, ground floor windows should be closed at night or while the residence is unoccupied. When on vacation, ensure that a friend or neighbor picks up your mail, and use timers to randomly turn lights on and off.