Categorized | National News

Criminal Threat Level Critical

A lengthy crime report released by the U.S. State Department says the criminal threat level in New Providence is “critical,” while the criminal threat level in Grand Bahama has been rated as “high.”

The report, released on Thursday, provides a thorough rundown of crime incidents in The Bahamas. From the look of things, The Bahamas has a lot of work to do to curb crime and criminality.

According to the report, New Providence has experienced a spike in crime that has adversely affected the traveling public.

Last year, there were 127 homicides in The Bahamas, a contrast to the 94 recorded in 2010.

So far, this year, the country has recorded 54 homicides, 10 more than what was recorded at this same point in 2011.

It has also been noted that armed robberies, property theft, purse snatching and general theft of personal property remain the most common crimes against tourists in The Bahamas.

The report found that in 2011, there was a dramatic increase in general crimes, with violent crimes typically occurring in “Over-the-Hill,” areas – communities not frequented by tourists.

However, the report noted that two Americans were murdered in Nassau in 2009, both in residential areas.

The department’s report indicates that in 2011, there were numerous incidents that involved tourists or have occurred in areas in tourist locations.

These incidents occurred in the downtown areas and included the cruise ship docks and the Cable Beach commerce areas.

In late 2011, numerous cruise ship visitors were robbed of cash and jewellery.

These incidents occurred during the day and night.

In several cases, the victims were robbed at knifepoint, and had their gold necklaces and jewellery stolen.

The report blamed newly established Cash-for-Gold business establishments, which officials feel fuel these types of crime.

The U.S. Embassy also recorded reports of assaults, including sexual assaults in diverse areas such as casinos, outside hotels or on cruise ships.

In several incidents, the victim had reportedly been drugged.

As for rape, U.S. officials found that reported cases increased 37 per cent from 78 in 2010 to 107 in 2011.

It was just five years ago that The Bahamas had the highest incidence of reported rape in the world [per capita], according to a 2007 United Nations report on crime, violence and development trends.

The U.S. State Department offered tourists advice on how to avoid becoming victims of crime while in The Bahamas.

The report dissuades tourists from consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

It also discourages them from accepting rides from strangers and unlicenced taxi drivers.

Visitors were also encouraged to travel in groups.

In the same vein, visitors were also warned not to travel into non-tourist areas referred to locally as “Over-the-Hill,” – especially at night.

Tourists using credit cards have been warned to regularly check their accounts for suspicious activity, to secure valuables and to exercise common sense and vigilance.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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