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State Department warns those traveling to Bahamas over high crime rate

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The State Department is warning travelers to the Bahamas over high crime rates in the country.

“The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands,” the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs said in a Travel Advisory Friday. “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.” 

The agency warned travelers who do go to the Bahamas to take actions like to not answer the door at their hotel “unless” they “know who it is,” and to “not physically resist any robbery attempt.”

“Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist  areas,” the alert continued. “Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence.”

The warning comes after the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas issued a security alert Wednesday, informing the public that 18 murders have occurred since the start of the year in Nassau, the country’s capital.

“Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets,” the alert read. “Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.”

Vice President Kamala Harris announced more than $100 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Bahamas during a visit to the nation in summer 2023. USAID proposed the aid would be used to “address climate, energy, food security and humanitarian assistance in the Caribbean,” according to the agency’s press release.

“During her trip, the Vice President co-hosted the U.S.-Caribbean Leaders Meeting, alongside Prime Minister Philip Davis of The Bahamas, current chair of the Caribbean Community, building on her meeting with Caribbean leaders in June 2022 at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles,” the release read.

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