Security in E Europe

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by motorhomer, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    We are planning a trip of 6/7 weeks starting in April, to include Czech, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

    We have just bought the latest Caravan Club Europe book, and we are slightly concerned at the extent and strength of the warnings in this book about security in these countries.

    Obviously you need to be sensible wherever you go, but I wondered if anyone has practical experience of touring in these countries? And is security really a big issue compared to, say, Spain?

    We have spent some time in Spain with no problems!

    Many thanks

    Jeff O
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Crime is everywhere, when you read about it, it can take things out of perspective.

    If you were to sit and read about every attack, rape and bomb that happened in the last few years on London Buses, you might, understandably, be quite wary about using them. It is easy to remember the crime, rather than the millions of safe bus journeys that have been made at the same time.

    When looking at foreign unfamiliar countries things appear worse. Read this dodgy Country profile.
    This is no eastern block country, it is UK/London; advice given today to Americans visiting the UK:Smile:

    Read all the security information you can, then try to put it into perspective, REMAIN AWARE THROUGHOUT and enjoy your trip:thumb:
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  4. Phil

    Phil Read Only Funster

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    We went to the Czech Republic and Hungary last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Prague is a lovely City and well worth a visit. We also went to Budapest and Lake Balaton which is very nice. At no time did we feel threatened or unsafe.

    We are planning to go there again next month as there are lots of places we want to explore.

    If you are going to use the motorways you need to buy a vignette at the Czech border. Also if you go through Slovakia you must get another and you can also get one for Hungary at the same place. They are not expensive.

    Phil.
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I don't believe I forgot to mention The Motorhome Security Handbook, You should not leave without it. Good job there was details of it in my sig:BigGrin:
     
  6. Losos

    Losos Read Only Funster

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    Jeff, I feel I should warn you about one aspect of crime in these countries which has increased due to the Shengan (Sp?) agreement. Basically this allows people to move unhindered between any EU country at any time, and you will find that the old border crossing checkpoints have disappered or only exist in the form of a simple hut where you you may or may not encounter a Policeman.

    This means that a criminal in Poland can easily cross into Czechland, commit a crime e.g. steal a car or whatever, and cross back into Poland inside a few hours. The problem is that if the Police in Czechland are not in 'hot pursuit' (And how often do the Police in any country catch a crime in the making????) they can do nothing, the laws, the language, and the protocols mean that once the thief has crossed back into Poland he is safe. The Czech Police will pass the details to the Polish Police in time but the Polish respons is usually 'Well the crime didn't occur in our country so we'll just ignore it'

    And of course the reverse is true, all the Czech criminals cross over to Poland to carry out their crimes. We live in Czechland, close to the German / Polish borders and have some contacts in the local Police and they have told us this many times.

    So my advice would be:-
    a) Make sure you have a RHD motorhome (it's hard to sell a RHD vehicle:BigGrin:)
    b) Don't leave it unattended anywhere within 20 - 30 miles of a border
    c) Don't stop overnight except in a proper camp site (Wild camping is forbidden and there are no 'Aires' or 'Stellplatz' at least not in Czechland)
    d) Take plenty of spares for the vehicle as they are not generally stocked by the dealers and it could take many days to get even a simple part.

    Oh and take a good dictionary 'cos outside of the capital hardly anyone speaks English.
     
  7. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    Thanks to all who have replied. At least none have said don't go!!!

    There are a number of wise suggestions here. We were pretty cautious in Spain, for which the caravan club book also had pretty dire warnings!. We had no problems but did occasionally meet people who had been broken into.

    I note the suggestion about taking spares. Sounds like good advice but what do you take? The only serious part I have needed in a van was a butterfly valve in the engine (which took a month to get in England!!!) - it does not seem likely that people would carry spares like that.

    Anyway we will continue our planning, we will go and hopefully, as in Spain, we should have no trouble if we take some care about where we park.

    Thanks again

    Jeff O
     
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