US latest to slap travel advisory on The Bahamas amid rise in robberies

bahamas crime prob

NASSAU, Bahamas, Monday September 28, 2015 – Against the backdrop of escalating crime in The Bahamas, the US Department of State has warned its citizens of a rise in armed robberies in New Providence.

Echoing warnings issued by the British and Canadian governments last month, a recent travel advisory posted on the Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) website warns visitors of an increase in robberies in tourist areas.

While the full report was not available on the website, it read in part: “An apparent two-year rise in armed robberies in The Bahamas has spurred numerous warnings by foreign governments to their citizens visiting the country.

“Given the large volume of US tourists that visit The Bahamas and recent criminal incidents in popular tourist destinations, American visitors to tourism hubs in Nassau should be cognizant of heightened criminal risks.”

Late last month, Britain updated its travel advisory to state that: “There have been incidents of violent crime including robbery, which is often armed and sometimes fatal, in residential and tourist areas of New Providence, Grand Bahama and Freeport.”

“The number of break-ins and robbery incidents reported to the British High Commission has increased. There are police patrols in the main tourist areas.”

Canada’s warnings state that Canadians “should exercise a high degree of caution.”

“Crime occurs mainly in Nassau and Freeport. There has been an increase in armed robberies targeting tourists in Nassau. Incidents take place in populated and isolated areas, and even in daylight hours [there are] high rates of crime, especially in Nassau.”

Canada urges its citizens “to stay alert to your surroundings at all times, even in areas normally considered safe”.

“Avoid deserted beaches and do not walk alone, particularly after dark. Sexual assaults are on the rise in Nassau . . . Foreigners have reportedly been sexually assaulted by water sports rental operators,” the Canadian advisory added.

Last year, the US Embassy in Nassau said that at least three Americans, including a minor, were allegedly sexually assaulted by jet-ski operators on the tourist playground of Paradise Island.

Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News also named The Bahamas the number 1 most dangerous cruise destination in the world last year.

“Most tourists from Britain, Canada and the US arriving in Nassau via cruise ship do not realize that the port is much more dangerous than their home countries,” wrote Walker, an American maritime lawyer.

The Nassau Guardian reports “widespread concerns” about crime in The Bahamas, with 110 murders for the year so far.

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts said this week the government should give serious consideration to implementing a curfew in crime hot spots.

Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)