UK AND US Travel Advisories warn visitors vacationing in the Bahamas of High Crime Incidents

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Nassau, Bahamas — Crime has become the number one pressing issue facing the country and both British and American Embassies have highlighted the concern in their travel advisories.

Guests vacationing in the Bahamas are being asked to impose their own curfews and not walk in the downtown city after dark.

According to the British Travel Advisory, guests should be vigilant at all times and not carry large amounts of cash or wear jewellery.

The British Travel Advisory page read:

Safety and Security – Crime
Some tourists have been victims of robbery, sometimes armed, in isolated areas and more recently in tourist areas of New Providence. The local authorities have increased police patrols in the tourist areas.

You should be vigilant at all times. Do not walk alone away from the main hotels, tourist areas, beaches and downtown Nassau particularly after dark. Take care if travelling on local bus services after dusk on routes away from the main tourist routes. Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. Assailants may be armed.

The outlying islands of the Bahamian archipelago (known as the Family or Out Islands) are attracting an increasing number of visitors. These islands are relatively free of crime compared to the main islands of New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) but sensible precautions should still be taken. ( http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/bahamas#crime )

The concerns by the British are yet to be reported by the WUTLESS media in the Bahamas, as the crime crisis rocks the nation.

However, if you thought that advisory on the Bahamas from the British was bad, advisory posted by the American Embassy is worse and notes “a spate of more violent criminal activity in 2009,”. The report highlights how three groups of tourist have been held up in the country during big time daylight hours.

UK and US Travel advisories spell troblem for Bahamian Tourism as crime is highlighted as the number one vexing problem gripping the country. Vincent Wallace and Brent Symonette seen here.The travel advisory reports of incidents of rape within the country noting that the Bahamas has the highest incidents of rapes in the Caribbean, according to a United Nations 2007 report.

It also points to a the many boat thefts that have taken place in the country; particularly on the islands of Abaco and Bimini. Recently three men were caught in the possession of a stolen the boat owned by guests at the Bimini Bay Resort.

The island magistrate hearing the matter only charged the trio a fine of $1,000. We have learnt one of the men was at the time renting a unit on the island from the judge. [INCREDIBLE]

The advisory issued by the US reads:

CRIME: The Bahamas has a high crime rate. New Providence Island in particular has experienced a spike in crime that has adversely affected the traveling public. Pickpocketing and theft remain the most common crimes perpetrated against tourists. However, there has been a spate of more violent criminal activity in 2009. Three separate groups of tourists were held at gunpoint and robbed at popular tourist sites in and near Nassau; each of these incidents occurred during daylight hours and involved groups of more than eight persons. Several other groups of tourists allegedly were victims of armed robbery at more remote locations.

The U.S. Embassy has received reports of assaults, including sexual assaults, in diverse areas such as in casinos, outside hotels, or on cruise ships. In several incidents the victim had reportedly been drugged. The Bahamas has the highest incidence of rape in the Caribbean according to a 2007 United Nations report on crime, violence, and development trends. Much of the violent crime occurs outside of areas frequented by tourists, such as the “over-the-hill” section of Nassau. Two American citizens were murdered in Nassau in 2009, both allegedly in residential areas. Home break-ins, theft, and robbery are not confined to any specific part of the island.

The upsurge in criminal activity has also led to incidents which, while not directed at tourists, could place innocent bystanders at risk. An altercation at a major resort resulted in the shooting of two security officers, while several daytime robberies in Nassau led to exchanges of gunfire on busy streets.

Criminal activity in the outlying family islands does occur, but on a much lesser degree than on New Providence Island. The Embassy has received reports of burglaries and thefts, especially thefts of boats and/or outboard motors on Abaco and Bimini.

The Embassy has not received reports of harassment or hate crimes motivated by race, religion, or citizenship. There have been reports of harassment of persons based on sexual orientation. In addition, women have reported incidents of verbal harassment and unwanted attention.

Counterfeit and pirated goods are available in The Bahamas. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under Bahamian law, even though those laws are not routinely enforced. In addition, bringing such products into the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Some organized crime activity is believed to occur in The Bahamas, primarily related to the illegal importation and smuggling of illicit drugs or human trafficking. The Bahamas, due to its numerous uninhabited islands and cays, has historically been favored by smugglers and pirates. Most visitors to The Bahamas would not have noticeable interaction with organized crime elements; however, persons who operate their own water craft or air craft should be alert to the possibility of encountering similar vessels operated by smugglers engaged in illicit activities on the open seas or air space in or near The Bahamas.

Visitors are advised to report crime to the Royal Bahamas Police Force as quickly as possible. Early reports frequently improve the likelihood of identifying and apprehending suspected perpetrators In general, the Royal Bahamian Police Force is responsive to reports of crime and takes the threat of crime against tourists very seriously. However, the police response is sometimes slowed by a lack of resources or by the physical constraints imposed by geography and infrastructure. [ http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_989.html ]

Crime problem spell trouble for the Bahamas. Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest.

Both British and United States travel advisories are indeed shocking and perhaps points to the reasons for a sharp decline in stopover visitors to the country.

In 2007 and 2008 when TOURISM numbers sharply fell, in Jamaica guests numbers increased and no one in the Ministry of Tourism could tell us why. Perhaps the travel advisories paints a picture as to why.

The country has experienced a whooping record-breaking 104 murders already in 2011, with more than 16 incidents still unclassified by the police. The number is the highest ever since murders were recorded in the country.

Not a words on the advisories have come from the Minister of Tourism, Vincent Vanderpool Wallace. Not one word of concern has come from Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brent Symonette. Mums the word from Minister of National Security, Alton Tommy Turnquest, and the WUTLESS media in the Bahamas say ‘where ya put me’.

WE CAN DO BETTER!


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  • Why don’t you do it ?

  • Bea

    Agree with all the comments. We have got to start setting and enforcing a “zero tolerance” type punishment. I love my Bahamaland, but I am afraid to walk the street, walk in the mall or even go outside to exercise. Working hard all day, but afraid to treat myself because someone may think I have something and kill me for it. And yes, our boarders is the right place to start. Every rat and reject are allow to enter this land and just live. See how Miami has turned into a little Haiti and a big Havana, white americans hardly exist in Miami. Look around, real Bahamians almost non existent. Big China and Lil Haiti springing up in our faces. Do we really know the caliber of persons now living here in pretense of work. Smt. We are becoming servants to foreigners. I fear for my
    children, their heritage may very well be on the brink of extinction.

  • Agree with all the comments. We have got to start setting and enforcing a “zero tolerance” type punishment. I love my Bahamaland, but I am afraid to walk the street, walk in the mall or even go outside to exercise. Working hard all day, but afraid to treat myself because someone may think I have something and kill me for it. And yes, our boarders is the right place to start. Every rat and reject are allow to enter this land and just live. See how Miami has turned into a little Haiti and a big Havana, white americans hardly exist in Miami. Look around, real Bahamians almost non existent. Big China and Lil Haiti springing up in our faces. Do we really know the caliber of persons now living here in pretense of work. Smt. We are becoming servants to foreigners. I fear for my
    children, their heritage may very well be on the brink of extinction.

  • There are certain parts of the US and the UK that we should not visit alone after dark and the same goes for just about every other country in the world.

  • Friends and I was just talking over the weekend about how the Lap Tech is running the country along with Tommy T. This is what I learned:

    The police are everywhere mind you, patrols are up, Rapid Strike force is moving about. In some cases response time is slow, but for the most part the police are very quick to respond to serious incidents. The problems discussed were the gangs.

    There are different forms of criminality on the island whose daily actions are creating the problems.

    You have the guys who sleep in the day, they wait until 1, 2, 3 or 4am to steal cars, tires or auto parts. They smash your windows, jimmy your doors to get what they want out of your vehicle.

    You have the young boys and the organized men who, in the daytime will rip everything out of people homes, including the children clothing.

    Then there are the gun runners. You really can’t stop the guns because as we saw in the reports, these guns are smuggled in flatscreen televisions, Captain Crunch cereal boxes, wreaked vehicles, children toys and many other things. Once those guns are sold on the streets, we have problems.

    Then there are the drug boys who have been around since the days of rum running in the Bahamas. The drugs will always flow, regardless. The police will continue to confiscate a quarter mil here or a few hundred thousand there, but it’s a small catch in a multi-billion global industry.

    Then the numbers places. As much as we hate to avoid the topic of numbers, yes it is illegal. Once again, a multi-million dollar industry where persons (alledegely) in high office are paid handsomely to turn a blind eye. Even mom-pop stores alledegely rake in or gross a few hundred thousand dollars per annum. It all adds up to illegal activity.

    The gang bangers, street level thugs who for some reason, if they see another gang member on their turf, then it rains bullets. Simple stupidity.

    We also have those hardened criminals who operate on behalf of, or “freelance” as they say, to carry out these henious hits for the drug boys or anyone for the most part who needs “the problem to dissapear”.

    Guns that cost $2,300 back in 1995 can now be rented (alledegely) for $230 + free ammunition.

    We all know the other issues facing crime, and that is the court system. As pointed out, repeat bail for serious offenders creates problems. When the thug knows that I can do this, do that and get off scotch free, or even if I go to jail, nobody in jail could mess with me, then it sends a signal.

    As much as I don’t want to say this part, but the borders. The borders! If we don’t know who is coming into this country then were doomed from the get-go! During the earthquakes in Haiti, the prison was destroyed and many inmates freed themselves. Where are they now? Is it possible that many of them made their ways to our shores? Currently working on these Road Improvement projects? Holding work permits as “Farmers”? Working at these Landscaping companies? We just don’t know.

    We have so much issues, but is there an easy fix? We will have to wait until election to listen to the promises to find out…

  • AS A BAHAMIAN LIVING ABROAD, I WEEP FOR
    MY COUNTRY. IT IS A CRYING SHAME TO SEE
    A SMALL COUNTRY GO TO HELL.
    THE QUESTION IS “WHY DO BAHAMIAN’S
    HATE THEMSELVES SO MUCH?”
    GOD HAS GIVEN THEM SO MUCH BEAUTY
    ALL AROUND. ARE THEY SO BLINDED BY GREED
    AND PETTY JEALOUSIES?
    SOLUTIONS:
    LEADERS WITH THE COURAGE TO SET POSITIVE
    EXAMPLES OF CHRISTIAN LIVING.
    INCENTIVES FOR FAMILIES TO MOVE OUT OF
    THE OVER CROWDED NASSAU AND BUILD UP
    TWO OR THREE OF THE FAMILY ISLANDS.
    WHO WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO WHAT IS
    GOOD AND RIGHT FOR THE COUNTRY?

  • True Bahamian

    This advisory is a year old.

  • About time to stroll down crime lane and take an inventory of incompetency. In 1992 two male on duty plain clothing police officers were stripped naked on a beach where tourist were subject to be robbed. One was killed on the spot while the other fled. Not one word was said during that election or in the House Of Assembly, yet there was scoffs and laughter about who lost the election. Was that officer so meaningless to ignore what message was sent indirectly about the life value of citizens in the Bahamas. God forbid.If you don’t care about a police officer who gave his life in the line of duty what is the value that is placed on the visitors.

  • “…the police response is sometimes slowed by a lack of resources or by the physical constraints imposed by geography and infrastructure…”
    Meaning the new patrol cars (always the newest ones)are parked out of sight on a sweetheart run by a brown-suited fat senior policeman or stuck in school pickup traffic,somewhere among the “Road Improvement HotMix and concrete selling Projects” where the roads are dug up or blocked off.

  • like i say these leaders won’t even come up with a plan. first of all they never expected to win back in 2007 knowing that the PLP had crime and the rest under control the bahamians get what they wanted ‘dog chit leadership’ maybe this time they will learn’ if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.. more people loose they job,home,and life under the government than any other government in our history…

  • it is about time. now something must happen. over the next couple of days i would list the reasons for crime here in the bahamas.
    1. we have neglected to listen to the small things that people say to the police. like, the guys are selling dope in my neighborhood and when i call the police i am told that they are on the way. …they never reach.
    2. how can the police say don’t drink and drive when they have a canteen at the police school where you can buy liquor (or get it almost free) and when you are finished you get in they get in their car and drive home. i have never heard of anyone in the bahamas charged with driving drunk.
    3.the murders are more than 104. when you take into account the attempted murders, stabbings (with murder intended), shooting of those who the culprits intended to kill, then it should be about 250.

  • This is sad to hear. I am a frequent visitor, and planning on making another trip at the end of the year. It’s unbelievable to me that the government can’t seem to get the problem under control. The island is only SO BIG!! We don’t stay in “tourist areas” and would rather rent places or stay with close friends… It’s ashamed that the actions of some have potentially threatened an industry so vital to the economic vitality of the country.

  • We will do better give us about seven months to get rid of these nuckleheads.

  • This is sad to hear. I am a frequent visitor, and planning on making another trip at the end of the year. It’s unbelievable to me that the government can’t seem to get the problem under control. The island is only SO BIG!! We don’t stay in “tourist areas” and would rather rent places or stay with close friends… It’s ashamed that the actions of some have potentially threatened an industry so vital to the economic vitality of the country. We have taken the buses- during evening hours, and also spent long hours during the Junkanoo celebrations enjoying ourselves, oblivious to the dangers that may have been around us. Even though we never felt uneasy or in any sort of threat, I have been hearing accounts of crimes such as murders of children and other crimes and think that the Bahamas needs to look at other countries/governments for guidance on how to get a handle on these problems before the tourism industry is really affected- causing dire economic consequences- causing the problem only to get worse!! I will be there celebrating with the rest on New Years. I hope that increasing concerns or travel restrictions don’t end our ability to take our yearly trip. We come for a week, and always leave with great memories. I hope these memories/views never change and I never have a reason NOT to come!!

  • does not look good

  • Putting politics aside we must place our present dilemma squarely at the feet of former Commisssioner Ferguson and Tommy Tucker Turnquest who foolishly listened to his advice on breaking up the Police Force.Remember now both men for political reasons gutted the top brass of the Police Force and put their people in place not recognising that none of them had any Policing experience.Where is the efficiency promised with the streamlining done?Why is the Deputy Commissioner of Police McCartney a trained scientist who was solely recruited to work in the lab?Oh what a wicked web we weave when by deceit others we try to deceive.Papa ring the bell so that the people can judge you.

  • Spells bad news

  • We MUST do better