St. Lucia is still relatively off the radar for a majority of Caribbean vacationers, but its natural beauty has quickly led to a booming tourist industry in recent years. Although crime is not as much of an issue as it can be on larger, more developed Caribbean islands, it is still a concern.
While crime statistics remain low, visitors are becoming more of a target for petty street crime as tourism grows. When traveling on St. Lucia, take some common-sense precautions for personal safety and to avoid unnecessary risks. Because tourists can be a main target for crime, be especially careful in popular tourist destinations, including the beach.
A few pieces of safety advice to help avoid trouble:
Do not display wealth by carrying large amounts of cash or wearing flashy and excessive jewelry.
When on the beach, do not leave valuables unattended, especially electronics.
At night, always make sure to go out in groups and to stay in the well-lit, commercial areas of Castries or Soufrière.
Avoid going into unfamiliar residential areas and stay on the main streets that are patrolled by local police officers.
If a crime does occur while you are visiting St. Lucia, you can contact the police by dialing 999 or 911. The non-emergency line for the police headquarters is 758-452-2595. In addition to reporting the incident to the police, it is important to contact the nearest embassy from your home country, especially if the incident involves a lost passport or other travel documents. Embassies are essential in replacing lost documents and contacting family members abroad for assistance.
United States citizens should prepare for their visit to St. Lucia by reading the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," which offers general safety tips for traveling overseas. It can be found at the Bureau of Consular Affairs online at www.travel.state.gov. You can find out current information on safety and security by calling toll free 888-407-4747 from the United States or Canada, or the toll line at 202-501-4444 from international locations. With these safety tips in mind and your common sense sharp, your trip to St. Lucia should be a pleasant one.
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