Is Crime Increasing in Turks and Caicos?

Is Crime Increasing in Turks and Caicos?

 

According to the Turks and Caicos Visitors Bureau, the Turks and Caicos islands are some of the safest islands in the Caribbean.  And the crime rates in Turks and Caicos are in line with major cities like New York and Miami.  They go on to point out that being safe compared to high crime islands of the Bahamas and the Jamaica is not necessarily a good thing.

The safety and crime page of the VisitTCI.com website includes this honest appraisal of crime on Providenciales:

Crime against tourists definitely occurs in the Turks and Caicos. The country is expected to see roughly 1,300,000 visitors in 2014. About 1,000,000 of these are cruise ships who only visit for a few hours on Grand Turk. Very little crime is committed against cruise ship guests.

Of the 300,000 non cruise ship guests, nearly all stay for multiple days on Providenciales. The following mainly applies to guests staying overnight on Providenciales.

Armed invasions of rental villas are the greatest crime concern. The typical scenario is criminals (two to five persons and typically armed with firearms, blunt weapons or machetes) break into an occupied villa, subdue their victims, collect all valuables including passports and electronics, possibly attempt to have a victim withdraw cash at an ATM, and then leave. Our estimates are that 5 to 10 of these villa invasions happen on Providenciales every year. Staying in a hotel or resort will greatly reduce this risk. Some villas have security guards or neighborhood patrols that lessen the likelihood of crime.

This is shocking honesty from the Turks and Caicos visitors bureau.

We have also noted several crime related posts on the Trip Advisor forums regarding crime in Turks and Caicos.  We are reposting a couple of the accounts here in case they are deleted on the Trip Advisor forum.

This is from “Jen H”:

This was the most gorgeous vacation spot, but BEWARE the false sense of security that is advertised. They state that this is a gated community, but it is in fact NOT. We stayed here last March break (2014) with another couple and 4 young children. On the 3rd night we were victims of a home invasion and held hostage at gun point by 2 masked men at 3 am. They robbed us of all our money, wallets, carry-on bags, etc. It was traumatizing and we couldn’t get a hold of Joseph or the owners until the next morning. The police there are a joke. They took hand written statements the following day that took over 3 hours to write. Since we still had another 5 nights left on the island, the owners did put us up in a hotel, but what a dive. Worst trip of my life. Probably bad luck, but be aware that the island is not as safe as it claims to be and there is no one guarding the so called “gated” community.

This is from “George J”:

I am posting this primarily for those of you that are visiting and staying in a house or private villa without security.

Crime has become more frequent and more importantly more violent.

There is a gang that roams on motor bikes and break and enter houses and villas when guests are not at home but also have done so when guests are at home. They are assaulting and robbing and making their getaway on their motorbikes. The police seem to not care and are slow to respond.

Please be very careful, do not discuss your plans with locals, do not discuss where you are staying with locals. I am sure this post will be removed but I do want to warn tourists that they should not rely on locks, safes etc to protect their valuables. Have the police phone number programmed in your phone.

Do not park at the Coral Gardens park, your car will be broken into even if you leave unlocked. They are breaking the windows out.

If you are staying in a large hotel or resort you are probably okay but please do not let your guard down. This island is getting more dangerous every year and there seems to be little that the police will do to stop the violence.

We are not posting this to scare anyone. Crime is real in almost all sections of the world so it is best to be aware and prepared for the situation.

We can honestly say that we never once felt unsafe during our stay on Providenciales. Having visited many Caribbean islands, the safest we felt on any of them was on Providenciales. But you certainly do have to be careful. Here are a few tips on safety from the Turks and Caicos visitors bureau:

General Crime and Safety Tips

  • Consider not going to any remote or isolated area on Providenciales
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle or unattended on the beach
  • Consider staying at a hotel or resort instead of an isolated rental villa
  • Be aware that being out at dusk or night on the beach carries an increased risk of crime
  • Be aware that walking on the roads at dusk or night carries an increased risk of crime
  • Lock up or secure any valuables at your accommodation if a safe is available
  • Don’t leave any valuables exposed when not at your accommodation
  • Consider obtaining travel insurance that covers theft

This is good advice.

Enjoy your time on these wonderful beaches and islands, but always be cautious and safe. Enjoy!

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