The Bahamas continues to be marred by a spiraling out of control crime problem that has seen scores murdered over the last 10 months
Two young men died violently over the last weekend in Nassau. Both were shot in separate incidents and at separate popular tourist entertainment spots. The Bahamas are on a path to exceed last year’s murder count of 123. the Bahamas recorded a record 127 murders in 2011. On Wednesday police report that they have not arrested any suspects in the weekend homicides.
The uptick in Bahamas crime has not gone unnoticed prompting a renewed debate about how crime affects the cruise ship passengers and other tourists who visit the
Island Nation. Cruise ship passengers who arrive in Nassau have reported that at times they found letters from the cruise ship companies warning them of possible criminal activity on shore. According to reporters at the Nassau Guardian a Carnival Cruise Line reportedly warned a Bahamas tourism official that Carnival was so worried about crime in Nassau, it was considering issuing crime warnings to passengers.
The U.S., British, and Canadian governments have issued warnings to tourists to be on the look out for their personal safety. Areas of concern are armed robberies in downtown Nassau, and the cruise ship docks. The U.S. Embassy in Nassau reports that last year at least three Americans were reportedly sexually assaulted by personal water craft operators on Paradise Island. The Canadians warn: There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Bahamas. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution high rates of crime, especially in Nassau. This warning from the U.S. Department of State: The criminal threat level for New Providence Island is rated as critical by the Department of State. New Providence Island has experienced a spike in crime that has adversely affected the traveling public, with a spate of violent criminal activity between 2009 and 2015. Armed robbery remains a major criminal threat facing U.S. citizens in The Bahamas. The U.S. Embassy has received multiple reports of tourists robbed at gun point or knife point in tourist locations in the downtown areas of Nassau, to include the cruise ship docks and the Cable Beach commerce areas; several of these incidents occurred during daylight hours. Burglaries, larcenies and “snatch-and-grab” crimes happen in Nassau and U.S. citizens have been victims of these crimes. 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.
The crime issue is a top issue for Bahamian politicians who have wrangled with the issue for sometime. Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage said the government was “tirelessly working on the fight against crime,” which he characterized as a complex issue.