US issues travel advisory for Bahamas due to high levels of violent crime

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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS BAHAMAS

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS & CAICOS – SEPTEMBER 25: View of Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa on September 25, 2016 in Providenciales, Turks And Caicos Islands.

(WCMH) – The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory this week which recommends visitors exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime.

Federal officials issued the advisory saying that violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, is common, even during the day and in tourist areas.

Although the family islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime, officials said.

Federal officials also urged visitors to be aware of the dangers of commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours because they are not consistently regulated.

“Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists.  As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands,” the advisory said.

If you decide to travel to The Bahamas:

  • Exercise caution in the area known as “Over the Hill” (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.
  • Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist

Click here for more information.

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