State Department advises travelers to exercise increased caution in the Bahamas due to crime

FILE PHOTO -- Nassau, Bahamas -- Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Sandals Royal Bahamian

Those traveling to the Bahamas should exercise increased caution due to crime in the area, the U.S. State Department is advising. 

On Monday, the department released a travel advisory for the Bahamas, stating that violent crimes, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, is common there. They also included that this even occurs during the day and in tourist areas. 

With that said, the U.S. State Department stated that the vast majority of these crimes occur on the New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime.

U.S. government personnel are also not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on the New Providence and Paradise Islands. The U.S. State Department said in their advisory that jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. They also said that activities involving commercial recreational watercraft vehicles are not consistently regulated or maintained. Many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in the Bahamas. 

If you still decide to travel to the Bahamas, the U.S. State Department advises that you:

  • 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