The U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory for The Bahamas. Officials say violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, are common, even during the day and in tourist areas.
Right now the travel advisory is at level two, meaning you should exercise increased caution.
They say the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. They are also warning people of activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, because the tours 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.
Officials say if you decide to travel to The Bahamas follow these steps:
- 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.