All About Crime in the Caribbean

Crime is not particularly prevalent in the Caribbean, but travelers should always take precautions

Photo credit: © aturkus

Caribbean Crime

While many islands in the Caribbean are virtually crime-free, crime rates do vary by location.

For the most part, hustling, pick pocketing, and petty theft characterize crime on the islands. Some islands, like Jamaica, have a reputation for a higher crime rate in certain areas, while crime appears to be on the rise in others. Knowing a few safety tips ahead of time will assure a pleasant, worry-free vacation.

  • Never leave a wallet, jewelry, or other valuable items unattended in public or on the beach while you swim.

  • If your hotel or room has a safe, make use of it.

  • Be alert and aware of certain areas that shouldn't be traveled after dark; if you know the nature of the crime that is predominant in a given location, you will know what to look out for.

  • If your passport is lost or stolen, immediately report this to the local police and your country's nearest embassy or consulate. Your passport may not be able to be replaced in the Caribbean, so carry backup documentation and identification with you.

United States citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to ensure a safe journey. This publication and others, such as Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean, are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents at the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 20402 or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs at


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