As in all the big and modern cities of the world, Bangkok is also not free from crime. There are often complaints form foreign as well as local tourists about widespread scams and blatant price gouging. Elaborate gem store scams are common, where the scamsters first earn the trust of a shopper through a westerner who is in collusion with the local merchants, and then rob the unsuspecting tourists of thousands of dollars. At a lower level, overcharging is very common. Commission-based profiteering is common for restaurants, hotels, and other kinds of businesses. The Tourist Police is not armed with adequate powers to tackle this widespread crime. They largely remain busy in writing out reports for insurance companies for victims of theft. In more serious cases, they will translate reports to be passed on to the regular police in Bangkok. The illegal drug trade is another aspect of crime which continues to thrive despite stringent drug laws.
There have been sporadic cases of armed robbery and violence against tourists but these are not common. However, murders involving tourists and long-term foreign residents do occur. One of the reasons of a dramatic increase in crime is the increase in the number of illegal immigrant workers in Thailand. However, despite these crimes, Bangkok is generally considered safe as regards violent crime. The incidence of violent crimes such as murders and muggings is fairly low as compared to other big Asian and international cities.