Following increased crime in one of the most popular Caribbean tourist destinations, the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory for Americans traveling to the Bahamas, including the capital of Nassau.
Citing violent crime, specifically burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assaults, the agency urged travelers to “exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime.”
The Jan. 26 warning reads:
The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands. In Nassau, practice increased vigilance in the ‘Over the Hill’ area (south of Shirley Street) where gang-on-gang violence has resulted in a high homicide rate primarily affecting the local population. Violent crime … occur[s] in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence.
Though the State Department explains the possible travel risks for Americans visiting certain countries at a given point in time, it issues increased warnings by level reflective of current circumstances, such as those resulting from upticks of violence.
Advisories are based on eight risk-specific indicators, including crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, natural disasters, time-limited events, kidnapping/hostage-taking and other potential risks not covered by previous risk indicators.
The Bahamas travel advisory was accompanied by a warning from the U.S. Embassy, which provides on-the-ground assistance for American tourists abroad.
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“The U.S. Embassy in Nassau advises U.S. citizens to be aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024,” the Embassy’s security alert issued Jan. 24 noted. “Murders have occurred at all hours, including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.”
In addition to monitoring the latest State Department warning for your desired country, the agency tells U.S. citizens to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to stay up to date on rapidly changing security situations in foreign countries via the nearest U.S. consulate.
Featured image by VICTOR J. BLUE/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES
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