Most Bahamas crime occurs in the major cities of Nassau and Freeport. And while most visitors to this island nation won’t experience any problems, there have been several reports of robberies and sexual assaults against tourists in recent years and the U.S. State Department recommends using increased caution when traveling to the Bahamas. Here is what you need to know about Bahamas crime and safety in 2019:
Is it safe to travel to Bahamas?
There have been reports of crimes against tourists, even during daylight hours and reports of sexual assaults on are on the rise, particularly in Nassau and other parts of New Providence Island. If you are visiting the Bahamas don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewelry. Your possessions, including passports and travel documents, should be secured at all times. According to the U.S. State Department, “the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands.”
Visitors are most likely to be victims of armed robbery, theft, purse snatching, pick pocketing and sexual assault. These incidents are on the rise. Some criminals have used roadblocks to stop and rob motorists. Most crimes occur at night, so it is best to travel during daylight hours.
It is safest to travel in pairs or groups. If confronted in a robbery, you should comply with demands. Many criminals will be carrying weapons, including firearms, machetes or knives. Try to keep the encounters are brief as possible.
The U.S. State Department issued a warning in 2019 warning of a significant increase in traffic fatalities among travelers. A combination of reckless driving, alcohol and an unfamiliarity with vehicles is leading to the increase. Travel by scooters and bicycle is especially hazardous.
For emergencies in the Bahamas or to contact the police dial 919 or 911.
Is Nassau safe in 2019?
Visitors to Nassau should be especially vigilant. Crimes have occurred in popular tourist areas of Nassau, even during daylight hours. Travel in pairs or with groups of people you know and avoid deserted beaches, especially at night.
There have been several reports of visitors being sexually assaulted by water sports rental operators on what would normally be considered safe beaches on Paradise Island. The water sports rental industry is not well regulated and it is best to avoid the rental of Jet Ski-type watercraft while in Nassau.
Is Freeport safe in 2019?
Like Nassau, visitors to Freeport should be vigilant and travel in pairs or groups. Most Bahamas crime occurs in Freeport and Nassau. Stay alert at all times, even in areas considered safe. Avoid deserted beaches and do not visit beaches at night.
Bahamas health issues
Tourists have been seriously hurt using poorly maintained Jet Ski-type watercraft in the Bahamas. It is best to avoid renting these watercraft during your visit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Zika is a risk and women who are pregnant should not travel to Jamaica. All travelers should take steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual exposure to Zika virus during and after their trip.
- U.S. Department of State Bahamas Travel Advisory
- U.S. Department of State Bahamas Country Information
- U.S. Embassy in Nassau
- Cheap things to do in Nassau
Sources: U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control, Government of Canada, Government of the United Kingdom, United Nations.