Warning: U.S. Citizen Murdered in Nassau - Cruise Passengers Urged to Avoid Travel to the Bahamas!

Last month we wrote an article about the crime epidemic in Nassau, Bahamas.

A newspaper in the Bahamas published an article "Cruise Ships Warn on Crime," explaining that cruise executives from Miami met with Bahamian officials about the increasing crime levels in Nassau which are no longer safe for passengers. We have written several articles about the crime problem in Nassau, including the rape of young women who go into the bars near the port, petty theft, snatch and grab robberies, and violent crime.

Nassau Bahamas Cruise Ship CrimePassengers are being warned to stay on the cruise ships when the ship calls on Nassau. Crew members have known this for years.

Newspapers today are reporting that a U.S. citizen was shot and killed when he tried to stop the robbery of another U.S. tourist visiting Nassau. The U.K. Daily Mail reports that American Kyle Bruner was murdered in the Bahamas over the weekend while attempting to help a tourist who was being mugged.

The U.S. Department of State characterizes the crime level on New Providence Island, where Nassau is located, as "critical." Snatch-and-grab’ crimes are common occurrences in Nassau. The U.S. State Department says it has received reports of assaults, including sexual assaults, in casinos, outside hotels, and on cruise ships.

I have represented many women sexually assaulted in Nassau and on cruise ships in that port and many passengers robbed at gunpoint.  

In addition to our clients, we have learned of a wide variety of crimes against cruise passengers, including rapes against young women ashore, theft, and violent robberies. We have written several articles about the crime problem in Nassau, including sexual attacks against young women who go into the bars near the port: 

U.S. State Department: Crime In Nassau, Bahamas Is Critical

Cruise Passenger Beaten and Raped in Nassau - Are Royal Caribbean and Senor Frog's to Blame?

Eleven Cruise Passengers Robbed in Nassau

18 Passengers From Royal Caribbean & Disney Cruise Ships Robbed By Shotgun in the Bahamas
Bahamas Cruise Crime Nightmare Continues

Nassau Welcomes Oasis of the Seas as Bahamas' Murder Count Reaches Record-Breaking Level 

I have never written an article telling cruise passengers to avoid a port of call. I usually report on what I know and then leave it up to the passengers to decide what to so. But Nassau is flat out dangerous.  In my opinion, if you knew what the cruise lines know, you'd be crazy to take your family there. 

June 20 2013 Update:  Crime in Nassau continues. Here are recent articles:

74 year-old female U.S. diplomat assaulted and robbed Sunday morning in Nassau while walking to church.

2 tourists robbed outside Atlantis.

Tourists Robbed At Downtown Night Spot

2 tourists robbed.

It's Not Better in the Bahamas: Crime Up, Cruise Passenger Spending Down

Officials address cruises lines' crime concerns.

Bahamian Ministry of Tourism, police and cruise lines work on "white paper" to address crime in Nassau.  
 

Photo Credit:  Caribbean 360 

 

 

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Comments (36) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Heidi - May 14, 2013 3:04 AM

Have you booked a cruise for 8 thousand dollars and had a cabin next to a person smoking drugs on a cruise ship. The smell in the corridor, the wreak of stench that comes with pot smoking. Makes your cruise very uncomfortable - if these guys just realise, go up on deck out in the open and smoke their stuff they wouldn't get caught - but like cigarette smokers they don't care about the people around them. It may be okay in the states but Bermuda just doesn't tolerate it. It is our island, our laws. When Americans go to the middle east they respect the nations laws there - respect ours

BAHAMIAN - June 20, 2013 1:05 AM

it is truly sad what u have written...

Sam - June 20, 2013 8:47 AM

Yes there's crime, but crime is everywhere! We have a high police presence especially down town where the ships dock. There's bad apples in every country, but I'm pretty sure as far as the Caribbean is concerned, The Bahamas is not the most dangerous country or even close to the top of the list. Any where you go on vacation you should practice vigilance and not let your guards down. Some people get far beyond drunk and some go looking for drugs and these are the times where you make yourself a target going with obviously shady characters in shady areas, as can happen anywhere. Would you walk down a dark alley in NY? NO! It's a beautiful island with lots to see and do! Rent a scooter on the dock, get a map and don't let people frighten you into being a prisoner on your vacation!

Jim Walker - June 20, 2013 9:49 AM

Sam: St. Thomas USVI and Honduras may have higher murder rates, but Nassau may overtake those dangerous locations. Nassau is by far the most violent cruise port in the Caribbean taking into consideration rape, armed robberies, and armed robberies of large groups of cruise passengers in excursions ashore. The crime rates are higher than places in the U.S., even Miami and Los Angeles.

Arnold - June 20, 2013 11:46 AM

Why not write the full story.. like the fact that the "tourist" were in a known drug area and ghetto area at 3AM or later when the "mugging" happened. I live here and work at night and won't go in the area where this incident happened.. that said i have traveled all over the world and i know better than to go into "bad" areas... I go in popular areas and stay with groups and most importantly..I stay on the main roads..

Jim Walker - June 20, 2013 12:15 PM

Arnold, I understand that you live in Nassau but crime in Nassau is hardly limited to "well known drug areas" or "ghetto areas" as you put it.

Robberies and rapes against tourists and cruise passengers have occurred on Bay Street, by the cruise ships, in restaurants and bars downtown, by the hotels, outside of Senor Frogs, and next to the downtown police station. A U.S. diplomat was robbed downtown Nassau on a Sunday morning 2 weeks ago. She was 74 and not looking for drugs. She was going to church.

JustaGirl - June 20, 2013 12:17 PM

All i have to say is, don't stay in the areas that don't seem safe. Don't travel alone. I lived in Nassau and i always had mace on me. (Of course that didn't help in an incident i had there which resulted in me having to move) I have nothing good to say really. Nassau has turned to crap i hope all the criminals are pulled on the street, drenched in gasoline and burned in public sight. Fuck that place.

nique - June 20, 2013 12:19 PM

Did you read what u just wrote Jim Walker. They have
higher rates yet you are saying Nassau is the most violent. That's crazy. I totally agree with Sam.

CharlieBoy - June 20, 2013 2:44 PM

Jim Walker, you article is misguided at best and reminds me of a so called journalist Nelly Day.

You sit in the comfort of your own home, and make statements based upon incomplete reports.

Apparently we are a terrible destination to travel to because of crime, the same way most of our population lives in huts with thatch roofs.

The reality of the situation is that crime is everywhere, you get up and go to work every morning don't you, and crime based upon percentages of total population, the US far exceeds any country in the WORLD, but you are not evacuating for greener pastures are you? You are not staying locked up your home, are you?

Write complete stories, request police reports, we do have those ya know. Have a nice day.

Jim Walker - June 20, 2013 3:09 PM

CharlieBoy:

I have been to Nassau many times but never seen any thatch roofed huts.

Statistics are clear that Nassau has higher crime than any city in the U.S. including our worst cities like Detroit.

Your police won't release reports, assuming they exist, of either passengers victimized ashore in Nassau or crew members victimized on Bahamian flagged cruise ships.

Your own press is covering the crime mess you have over there:

http://www.bahamaspress.com/2012/03/12/bahamian-journalist-attacked-at-traffic-intersection/

Crime may occur everywhere, but Nassau has the worst of anywhere a cruise ship disembarks passengers which is the focus of this blog.

Justanother Bahamian - June 20, 2013 6:07 PM

Jim Walker:
I understand what you are saying and after sitting down and thinking long and hard, i'll have to disagree. New providence is a very small island, yes it is very unfortunate what has happened to those people and i hope they find justice, and before i get to my main point i want to say that i was unaware of the above situation until today when i saw the post on facebook. using your example state Detroit which has a population of over 706 thousand people New Providence has a population of a little over 316 thousand. Detroit has more than doubled our population, and as a smaller city our actions seem bigger. is our crime rate is high? yes, is there something shadey going on with our government? maybe, but the U.S. is no safer than we are every time i flip pass the news there's another bombing or some crap, but i never let that stop me from enjoying my visits, i just try to be that much more aware of the people in my surroundings. the Bahamas is a beautiful place with lots to offer am not asking you to love us or to take down your post but tourism is our number one industry just be a little thoughtful about what you say against our little country/islands please!

CH - June 20, 2013 9:39 PM

Gang related crime is up in Nassau and that is what scares most people. Gang initiation involves murder of someone, anyone at all. That is what troubles me about crime in Nassau. Also the police officers, as it is a relatively small place, all have a son, nephew, friend or other family member committing crime and they will not arrest those involved. I hear this all the time from Bahamians from all over the islands! They ought to know....used to be that the Police Commissioner would bring in outside officers to prevent this during periods of increased crime. Don't think this is still the case.

Montgomery Mortimer - June 21, 2013 11:00 AM

Jim Walker your article is misleading. It definitely displays that you are a stranger to truth when it comes to knowledge of crime around the world in reference to tourist. Crime take place every where throughout the world against tourist. It's sad that you choose to point fingers directly on Nassau which probably is one of the safest caribbean destinations. There are common courtesy traveling tips when visiting a foreign country like many stated above. There is no way that you can support your statement with facts that "the crime rates are higher than the U.S., Miami and Los Angles". Shame on you!!! How many individuals are attacked/ mugged/ raped Miami when renting vehicles via dollar car rental in the mall parking lots etc. However, tit for tat is not my game but do not try to tarnish the name of My Beautiful Bahama Land causing a reduction in the visitation without doing a fair review of tourism crime world-wide.

Jim Walker - June 21, 2013 12:10 PM

Justanother Jamaican:

Crimes rates are calculated per the Uniform Crime Reporting standards typically by the number of incidents per 100,000. This way crime rates between cities with different populations can be objectively compared. Detroit is much larger than Nassau but Nassau has a much higher homicide rate.

blue - June 21, 2013 7:46 PM

Nassau sucks! will never go there again. i was robbed there! they need to start lynching again plain and simple. This place is suppose to rely on tourist for money and they are running them out of the country. Stupid asses!

Omarion Takamaka - June 21, 2013 8:40 PM

May i just add that New Providence Nassau is not The Entire Bahamas the outer islands are so much safer than Nassau please stop making them look bad the crime in the outer islands are rare -_- so please avoid Nassau not The entire Bahamas.

None of your - June 21, 2013 9:09 PM

Sir I suggest you do research. Before you make statements
Most of these crimes are done by deportees
From your prison system who because of their last
Port of call get shipped to Nassau. They have brought
Home invasion. Murder in areas we never had
Before we are not perfect but as a Bahamian
Who understands your concerns And am in the tourist
Industry. Hatiain. Amercain deportees have brought
A new. Wave of crime learnt in the USA. Now
We get blamed for the level of crime Please do your home
Work before you judge the whole Bahamas.
That's All folks

Bahamian Lady - June 22, 2013 6:09 PM

I think that this article is entirely blown out of control. I will agree that there is crime as there is crime everywhere else in the world. But the issue of crime is not as serious as the writer makes it seem. I am 22 years old and I go out downtown at night and do not have any issues. I feel entirely safe there. The Bahamas is a wonderful tourist destination and Bahamians are truly friendly people. Don't allow someone to frighten you and prevent you from experiencing the best time of life.

& furthermore, that bar where the incident happened is not one I would choose to visit and it is not located in the downtown area.

Jim Walker - June 24, 2013 12:26 PM

From the Guardian newspaper, June 24 2013:

"Human beings, God's sacred creations, are being mercilessly gunned down like dogs, as our streets and neighborhoods have become rivers of blood . . . Even elderly grandmothers are being robbed and slaughtered for mere insignificant material possessions."

Anglican Archbishop Keith Cartwright

http://www.thenassauguardian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=40037&Itemid=27

aml - July 10, 2013 11:26 PM

I have read all of the comments and even the one from the person that went to university in the USA and then moved back to Nassau. Someone just got shot and killed in June 2013 in daylight and cruise ships are stilling going there. I suggest if the police can't keep the nut cases off the street when tourists come into their town to shop and spend money then cruise ships should not go there to bring money into the town. This problem is the security police on the island and obviously they haven't been doing their job very well. Being robbed and attacked in daylight is totally unacceptable..where are the police..having a donut or drink. They need to be trained just like the police in NYC Manhattan..have a police officer on each corner.

If cruise ships refuse to go to Nassau maybe then they might take this seriously. Obviously they are not taking it seriously if this has been happening for sometime and only tourist are attacked. I am sailing in december and trust me I won't be getting off the boat..I was going to spend big money at the designer shops for gucci, etc...not worth it at all...for what to be shot...I will buy them some place else and jewelry....Nassau, you have lost my business...everyone should be thinking this way...it is the only way something will be done...the police are sleeping on their you know what.

RollebabyRolle - July 19, 2013 9:52 AM

Emotions run high whenever crime is involved. As a US Citizen and the daughter of a Bahamian, I LOVE THE BAHAMAS and visit every chance I get. Nevertheless, does it matter who has more crime......The US? The Bahamas? The UK? The fact is.,,,,,crime places fear in the psyche of every human being. No citizen wants to hear that their "homeland" has more crime just as no citizen wants to hear calls for visitors to stay away from visiting their "homeland". Nevertheless, having articles published by the local paper describing incidents of horrible crimes, only enhances visitors fears. Blame for continuing to add fuel to the fire can be shared by many. ami-would you also suggest that visitors not travel to NY, Mexico, or anywhere else that crime exists? Unfortunately, crime happens all over the World and it is a responsibility of all of us to act responsibly by not insulting any country but rather use common sense and decency at home and abroad.

aml - July 22, 2013 1:40 AM

Hello rollebabyrolle, no I'm not suggesting not to travel to NYC as NYC as cleaned up their crime rate...if you ever go and visit manhattan which is a tourist area, there are police officers on each corner day and night...I've been there many times...and extremely safe. What you need to look at is the facts, Nassau Bahamas is a small island with a small population..with the population they have they are encountering to much crime related to other parts of the world. That is unacceptable and scary for tourists. It use to be safe but now with the economy people are rebounding to stealing, robbing, etc. to survive..and whose problem is that the island...they need to clean the island up or tourists will not be visiting and then it will get even worse.

The comments I'm reading from other tourists are concerning. I will see for myself when I visit. If a male will not get off the boat due to concerns what do you really think a female will do? It's unfortunate as it is a beautiful island and money can boost the economy but the crime stories deter the tourists to visit. Safety is important....

Sorry, if this is where you are from...but the truth hurts and it is the facts.

Elaine Knight - September 13, 2013 11:18 PM

I have been to Nassau many times met some very nice and cordial people. I travel alone to Nassau but I stay within the perimeter of the resort or hotel and I don't go out late at night and I do not go to bad areas of the island. I will continue to visit. It is a beautiful island.

Christine - October 8, 2013 7:18 AM

Good Lord People !!!!!...I always try to learn a bit about the countries I travel to. I would never want to insult any of it's people. As I would ask you to respect the USA when you visit. I will be taking my 1st ever Cruise aboard Carnival at the end of October. After reading all of the blogs I've found, I didn't think I wanted to get off the ship in Freeport or Nassau!!!!
There will be a group of us between 40-60 years old and will have 12 hours on the Island and want to go "Off The Grid" In a responsible way. Out of the way authentic Bahamas cooking and culture. Anyone recommend a non touristy place. We so hate Port shopping. We'd be willing to Taxi it. We just want to stay Safe. We'd happily pay a guide

isabelle marescutti - October 19, 2013 3:47 AM

I live in Nassau since 2/12 and I fully warrant what is being said above. One Bahamian friend with dual nationality said to me she had a 5 years exit strategy as crime continues to escalate. I am very disappointed with the island itself. One has to live west and in gated houses to feel secure. Lots of stray and often aggressive dogs which makes dog walking impossible as well. East is a no go area at night, and in some areas during daytime especially if you re white. Overall,and regrettably, this island is a s***hole I m afraid, I have felt more secure in some parts of africa.. Better go to other islands such as eleuthra if you re cruising. Nassau is overpopulated and nature had to give place to infrastructure/housing. Oh! And it's overprice !

Christina - October 25, 2013 1:27 AM

The man named Kyle Bruner who was shot and killed on East Bay in Nassau Bahamas on Mothers Day of this year, was my brother. I have been to Nassau a few times and had no problems, actually had a wonderful time. Crime is everywhere. Im going to Nassau and visiting where my brother was gunned down. Im praying at this spot and asking for forgiveness for my brothers killers.

Always be aware of your surroundings no matter where u may go. This kind of thing can happen to any one of us at anytime.
RIP Kyle, u are a hero in our eyes. We love and miss u so much.

Todd Walsh - November 15, 2013 11:10 AM

We were unaware of the crime problems here when we came on 11/9/13. Mysteriously her passport and id disappeared some time after she got through customs, and we had no idea how. At this point I believe it was a quick snatch grab at the airport, as she was waiting for me to arrive on my flight. She reported being surrounded by bahama taxi drivers and some others she didn't know. Somehow, someway, some scumbag managed to grab it and completely ruin our vacation. Now we are waiting for a fedex package back from the Peru consulate, in order for her to get back home. Absolutely horrible vacation, country, expenses, etc. The only redeeming factor are the nice people of the Bahamas. But overall, I am really sorry we wasted our money and time here. What a nightmare. Huge rent a car expenses, impossible communications, loud noises at the hotel, huge eating expenses, no good water to drink anywhere, scams at the restaurants like Nobu, etc. Do not come to Nassau bahamas, whatever you do!!!!

Laking Matthew - December 8, 2013 12:48 PM

Nassau has plenty of beauty to b seen by the eye but the unseen is unbelievable. I travel often to Nassau & what i say i hav seen for myself. The police r aware of & involved in plenty of the crime itself. All u hav to do is tip i.e. giv them some extra money & continue on to pretending thr doing thr job. Cab drivers are full of AIDS waiting to sleep with & take advantage of anyone under the influence. Bartenders & bouncers will quickly put drugs n ur drink & allow guns in the club. Again all BAHAMIANS LOVE TIPS. Hotel staff are n cahoots with ur property being stolen at times while ur not in ur room. If u look to b half fortunate trust that u r under the radar by some hungry, evil & twisted I
ndividuals. Many different cultures hav invaded alot of areas of the bahamas such as haitians & jamaicans & unfortunately bcuz of the love for tips & extra money their own governmnt is slowly selling & sinking itself into the hands of the Chinese.
difrnt cultures hav invaded the Bahamas such as hatians & Most Bahamian women are rude with an attitude toward American women & for what bcuz every culture has there share of bad examples however who are u or i to judge. t

will ketchem - December 31, 2013 7:46 PM

violence is nothing new in the bahamas its been like that since '86 when I first cruised there with my family, it's like anchoring off of harlem. I know, I am retired nypd. the bahamian police are useless and many times commit the crimes themselves. I lived in the out islands for 8 winters, the beaches and water are beautiful but you really have to watch your back, which most tourists from the US can't do. every year they get dumber. too many years of being coddled by mommy and going to college. you can't fix stupid. stay in the US and let the govt you elected take care of you whining losers.....

.

Allie - April 23, 2014 12:40 PM

I am pretty sure that Nassau has a lower crime rate than many U.S cities. Now a days Americans are going to the bahmain island to commit crimes. Just the other day a group of spring breakers came here and one of them was shot, but not by a Bahamian but by one of their own. Sure Nassau has alot of crime, because its the capital on but of you people are over thinking everything. If you visit the outer islands I assure you that you have nothing to worry about. The people there are so friendly and kind , but some of you assume that their friendliness is bad or fake but its not.In the end every country has their problems and everyone has their own standards but before you judge another country look at the crime in your own.

Deidre - May 8, 2014 9:38 PM

It is truly sickening what this article has to say about such a wonderful country. I am not downplaying in any way crime, but many of these "crimes" you have named here have been proven were either provoked or consensual in the case of several "rapes". I suggest you remove this warning of danger in the Bahamas because the city of Nassau is not in any way the entire Bahamas. The fact that you see fit to criticize a country whose crime rate is far less than 1/10 of yours is idiotic and quite frankly hypocritical. Yes tourist are to take precaution, but that is for everywhere they go. Stop creating bad publicity for things you seem not to understand, which I assume as your article is one great repetitive mass. God bless!

Jim Walker - May 8, 2014 10:58 PM

Deidre:

Your comments about the crimes being "consensual" or "provoked" are nonsensical.

85% of the Bahamas are in New Providence (Nassau) or Grand Bahama (Freeport). That's where the crime is located. The murder rate of the Bahamas is 10 times that of the U.S. The politicians, civic leaders and preachers are all sounding the alarm. Read the Nassau Guardian or the Tribune and learn what's really happening.

And watch out for Barbados too. Crime is increasing against tourists as well.

Agent 007 - June 11, 2014 11:37 AM

Jim Walker you are correct in your statements,but i still don't suggest the slamming of our country in the manner that which you are doing.A travel advisory is warranted no doubt because, YES on "Paper" we have a higher homicide rate than Oakland which has one of the highest in the U.S but at the same time our social fabric has not degraded to that level. There are plenty of factors that contribute to this higher rate of crime and lack of commonsense approach that everyone knew not to rob the "tourists". Lack of diversity and industries have created overwhelming economical pressure for a rapidly growing country resulting in desperation among the "grass roots". The fact of our Homicides is that 90% of it is retaliation killing, not committed during robberies or rapes.In the way you have presented the information(not saying its intentional) it leads one to believe that it is the case when it isn't. So that is what i believe has upset so much other Bahamians that responded to this blog.
As a Professional Executive Protection agent i can say that this is where "we" step in from the private sector to fill in the gaps of security that the law enforcement cannot or will not fill. We provide the extra safety net that's now needed for groups traveling to and from the Bahamas. We can make it apparent that your being protected or we can be sitting down on the beach a few feet away in cargo shorts, loose fishing shirt and boat shoes and shades sipping coconut water out of a coconut so that everything appears normal while you enjoy the beach or party or whatever you want to do on your vacation.
Our country is to Beautiful for anyone to deny themselves of coming, and people will always come for example Brazil, Cancun, Africa, The Amazon. I know because of my line of work these places are EXTREMELY Dangerous some more than others because we have to deal with kidnappings, civil/tribal wars, Cartels etc but people still travel these places and frequently i might add. They just add us into their vacation planning. Affordable and Professional.

first time cruiser - June 19, 2014 7:30 PM

My fiancee plans to take me to the bahamas in November and I'm glad I came across this article. It's crazy how ppl is Nassau can take advantage of those ppl that spend money in their city. I don't plan on setting any part of Nassau if I even decide to go through with it. I've seen the bahamas on tv and im not that pressed to put myself in danger in Nassau just to see other parts of the bahamas.

Petra Wallace - August 17, 2014 11:34 AM

I lived in the Bahamas for the past 5 years and I am very much intimate with the writer's obverations. Truth be told citizens of the Bahamas, statistically the country's crime rate at 35 homicides per 100,000 is now in top ten of the world. Do the maths.

Fact two tourist, apart from Atlantis and probably Arawak Cay, there is nothing and I say again nothing of interest on the main island of New Providence. There are a few good sights on the Family islands. Go to the Family islands instead. There is also less crime.

The police presence is mainly downtown to provide tourist with a comfortabke feeling. Beyond that they are inadequate.

Those are the facts. You can make change by first accepting the facts and secondly let your government know that the Bahamas is on a course of destruction. Work with them to change this. It would not happen overnight. But ignoring the facts citizens and government has serious consequences.

Crime is rampant in the Bahamas.

Hope - October 28, 2014 2:30 AM

I am married to a Bahamian and from my first visit, have always wanted to live in the Bahamas. It is a beautiful place. I read the news online every week to see if the crime has gotten any better. I am so relieved when I open up the Nassau Guardian News page online and do not see any dead bodies being taken away by the morgue and distraught family members crying and being comforted by others at the death of their loved ones. Since my first visit to Nassau over thirteen years ago, I have seen the crime get worse over time. Because of that, I have chosen to not pursue moving to the Bahamas to live. Very sad about the issues of crime against the citizens of the country, as well as the tourist. I long for the day that something is done to bring the crime rate down, but until it is acknowledge that there is a serious problem, the proper measures to get the problem under control will never be taken. Again, a beautiful country, beautiful people, but something must be done quick. Comparing country to country and guessing at who has the worst crime rate, does not help the situation. Focusing on what needs to be done to keep people safe, no matter where it is, should be the primary focus.

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