Visitors to Vatican City anticipate seeing beautiful architecture, holy sites, and perhaps a glimpse of the pope. What they may not know is that they are visiting the nation with the highest crime rate in the world.
At 1.5 crimes per citizen, at first glance, it appears that the primary business of the Vatican is larceny, rather than litany. Those numbers are a bit deceiving, however. While Vatican City does have the highest crime rate, it also has the smallest population of any sovereign nation: a grand total of about 450 people.
This tiny number is dwarfed by the 18 million visitors the Holy See receives each year. An unfortunate number of those visitors are there to prey instead of pray. The primary crimes reported within the Vatican’s borders include pickpocketing, purse snatching, and shoplifting. It wasn’t until 2007 that Vatican City reported its first drug-related crime when an employee was found to be in possession of cocaine.
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