Each time we’ve been to Argentina our friends there warn us to be careful of pickpockets and petty thieves.
In light of that I always wear a money belt and carry only a little cash and no cards in my wallet and have never had any problems.
Several members of the Air New Zealand All Black entourage weren’t so lucky when they were in Buenos Aires last week.
One man was robbed twice, losing all the money he had with him and his credit cards.
Several others were the victims of pickpockets and one woman had the back of her handbag had been slashed though nothing was lost.
It could happen anywhere in the world but the chances of it happening here are a lot less than in many other countries.
We can still walk down the street with our bags swinging from our shoulders and wallets in pockets without the constant fear we could lose them or their contents.
We can live in houses without bars on the windows and – at least in this part of the country – without elaborate security systems.
This gives us a freedom and security we shouldn’t take for granted, although we can be grateful that the crime rate is falling.
Police Minister Anne Tolley says the increased focus on frontline policing and crime prevention will continue, following another drop in recorded crimes.
Recorded offences were down by 5.2 per cent, with 21,802 fewer crimes in the fiscal year to 30 June 2012. The crime rate per head of population fell by 5.9 per cent.
It follows a seven per cent reduction in crime per head of population in the previous fiscal year, and a 5.6 per cent decrease in the 2011 calendar year.
“The figures reflect the excellent work of the Police in making our communities safer and I want to thank them for their efforts,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Police are spending more time and are more visible in their communities through Neighbourhood Policing Teams, while mobile technology is also allowing officers to stay out on the front line, instead of having to return to their desks.
“This new way of working will continue – to proactively prevent crime rather than react after an offence has been committed, and that leads to fewer victims of crime.
“So there will be no let up for criminals. The Police are well on their way to reaching our target of an overall reduction in crime of 15 per cent by 2017.
Less crime means fewer victims, greater security and more freedom for all of us.