Ireland’s reputation for friendliness is so entrenched that many travelers forget that crime here occurs at about the same rate as in other European countries. Especially in urban centers such as Dublin or Limerick, incidents of petty theft and pickpocketing happen regularly. Use the same precautions you would in any major city, including placing bags or parcels in the trunk of your car before you leave for a destination rather than after you park. Criminals often watch for victims to place things in their trunks and walk away, setting themselves up for theft, especially in popular tourist areas. For context, more than 97 percent of the population over 18 years old believes that crime is a major concern, and 2002 was statistically Ireland’s most violent year ever, although incidents of violent crime dropped in 2003.