The Bahamas is a paradise for many travelers. Offering serene views and clear waters, the Bahamas is a popular destination for many international travelers. Many areas of the Bahamas are safe, but there are still major risks when visiting this island paradise.
Behind the resorts in the Bahamas are swaths of people, many of which live in poverty. The population growth of the Bahamas has been rapid in the past decade as those looking for work on resorts has skyrocketed. But this has also provided the opportunity for crime to rise. Fortunately, unemployment in the Bahamas has decreased recently, which may help curb the high crime rate in the Bahamas. For now, however, the U.S. maintains that the Bahamas is a risk for travelers.
Violent crimes including burglaries, armed robberies, rape, and sexual assault are not uncommon in many parts of the Bahamas. While most resorts tend to be well-guarded and safe, some areas in the Bahamas remain high crime areas. Much crime in the Bahamas occurs during the day and in the most popular tourist areas. As a result, travelers should take the necessary precautions to avoid being the victim of crime in the Bahamas. The crime areas in the Bahamas are rather centralized, making it easier for travelers to avoid crime in the state. The primary family islands are not free of crime, but have low crime rates compared to other parts. Most crime in the Bahamas occurs on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama. Many of the visitors to the Bahamas are advised not to travel to such islands and for good cause. High-density areas feature the greatest risk of theft, but sexual assault and rape are more common in the areas with less traffic.
Avoiding crime in the Bahamas is not as simple as being cautious. Many of the crimes that occur in the Bahamas result from seemingly legitimate businesses and activities. For example, activities involving going out on to the water or the renting of commercial recreational watercraft are not well-regulated in the Bahamas. This creates opportunities for criminals to use seemingly legitimate business activities to commit crimes against travelers. It is not uncommon for small business workers to engage in nefarious or even illicit behavior while on the job, as it can be difficult to prosecute for such accusations. It is known in the Bahamas that Jet-ski operators, for example, have committed sexual assault against travelers and tourists to the islands.
Based on the U.S. travel advisory to the Bahamas, the keys to staying safe in the Bahamas are the following: first, stay off of the Grand Bahama and New Providence islands. If booking a resort, book one that is off of these islands. Second, travel in groups. This is especially true for women who comprise nearly all sexual assault victims on the islands. Third, do not engage in activities with small businesses that involve leaving the island that one is staying on. These activities provide opportunities for criminals to target travelers. Fourth, be vigilant in all activities. Staying in the Bahamas is almost always an enjoyable experience for travelers. Being vigilant and aware of one’s surroundings can prevent travelers from becoming crime victims. While the Bahamas is far from the most dangerous or risky areas in the world, there are certain patterns of risky behavior that should be avoided.