The headlines in the Nassau, Bahamas newspapers over the last 24 hours are ominous –  Man Shot Dead in Home InvasionShot Dead Defending Parents and Fatal Shooting in Fox Hill

These murders take the number of homicides in the Bahamas to 96 and 97 for the year.  

The Nassau newspapers read like a war correspondent’s daily account of mayhem and misery.  In the last week, the Tribune has blasted headlines like Shootings on the IncreaseTwo Murders in Six Hours, and Latest Armed Robberies Bring Month’s Total To 30. The Nassau Guardian’s recent Crime Nassau Bahamasgruesome headlines include Two Killed in Weekend Violence and Man Gunned Down Protecting Family

Last year there were 111 murders in the Bahamas in 2013. The country is averaging 10 murders a month in 2014. The 2013 rate will be exceeded sometime in December.

Defenders of the Bahamas point out that the Bahamas consists of some 700 islands. But there’s no question that the vast majority of these violent crimes occur in New Providence (Nassau) where the majority of the cruise passengers disembark.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami’s metro area has a population of around 5.5 million. That’s twenty-two times the population of New Providence (250,000). Miami-Dade had 229 murders in 2013. Even though the Miami metro area has 22 times more people, it has only approximately 2 times as many murders. Plus the police force in Nassau is ineffective, the legal system is broken and the tourism officials try to cover the violence up.

Many cruise tourists have an image of Miami as being high in crime, but they don’t understand that disembarking in Nassau is far more dangerous.

Both the U.S. and Canada have issued crime warnings for the Bahamas because of the violence.

More and more cruise passengers tell me that they stay on the ship when they reach port in Nassau. They say that they’re bored with the straw market and run-down Bay Street. They don’t want to risk walking off the ship into a shabby port and becoming a victim of armed robbery by a young man with a gun. 

 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Nassau Tribune

  • Mrs.Allen

    Last year my family and I had our vacation at the Atlantis hotel in Nassau and I can tell you with full honesty, we will “NEVER” revisit the Bahamas again “NEVER”. Not only is it a tourist trap with over priced food, rooms and crappy service, but also falling apart. If that isn’t enough to keep tourist away, try sleeping there at night, all you hear is loud rap music, and gunshots through out the night. My nine year old daughter had to sleep with us every night because she feared she was going to die. Image that, a nine year old child terrified of a vacation spot, first and last time my child has to endure this insanity. Everyday in their Bahamian newspapers there was crime and murder, why does our country allow us Americans to visit such a violent country without them notifying us about it? They warn us about Africa and Iran, but not a country that has “NO” control over their crime rate and a person gets murdered everyday? Is there any legal action I can take against the U.S.A. for not warning my family and I of such a place?

  • Dana
  • Stir Fry

    Ah, good. A new posting.

    Welcome cruise line shills, travel agent shills, and business owner shills.

    I look forward to your continued attempts at defending the indefensible Bahamian crime situation once again.

  • Becks

    I’ve lived in Nassau for 25 years. When I moved here we averaged 12-18 murders per year in the whole country. Now we average 100 per year in Nassau alone. Armed robberies,rapes and home invasions have also increased. Are the average cruise ship passengers more at risk now than 10 years ago….probably….but probably no more so than in any major urban population centre.

    I do have to call out Mrs Allen on her post……I flat out say she is full of it with her comment about hearing gunshots throughout the night, especially while staying in the Atlantis resort is pure bs.

  • Garth Muir

    Ms Allen you are an absolute lier there is no way you stayed at Atlantis and heard gun shot while you slept or rap music those hotel are far from roads they aren’t even in new providence you can’t hear anything while in those room

  • Saturday Boil

    Mrs. Allen,
    While I can certainly agree with most of your comments, I can put you at ease (belatedly) on one point. The ‘gunshots’ you heard at night were fireworks, not gunshots. Particularly on Paradise Island and at Atlantis, there are fireworks almost every night. Even in other parts of New Providence fireworks are a staple of summer and particularly holiday evenings. No, we don’t all like them, or at least so much. But that’s what you were hearing. If you had asked the hotel they would have told you their fireworks schedule, it’s actually for the guests. I can hear and see it most nights from my house.

  • Jayne Gorman

    Mrs Allen you should stay at home where the killing rate is as bad and stop being paranoid. Dana some people love to exaggerate like any where in the world there is crime do not let this woman stop you from enjoying this beautiful Island

  • Marianne

    This isn’t the first time lair estates has had home invasions . Last year a young American mother who is married to a Bahamian national was invaded threatened with a gun and traded her and her children’s lives for a lap top and her wedding ring .

  • Dawn

    Hi all,

    I know some people won’t get off the ship when they arrive in Nassau. I will not even consider a cruise that goes there. Why would I go on a cruise where I can only enjoy 2 out of 3 ports? I will always pick a different itinerary. If everyone did the same, the cruise lines would have to take note. Staying on the ship increases their onboard revenue, so it doesn’t affect them much. Not booking the cruise in the first place does have an effect, if enough people refuse to do so.

  • Kristoffer

    Hey Jayne, why don’t you read the article? As is clearly stated by Jim Walker, New Providence’s murder rate is over 10 times higher than Miami’s, and as he’s previously noted, Nassau’s murder rate is higher than Detroit’s. Do your research. Educate yourself. Other condescending remark.

  • Todd

    If Mrs. Allen is so full of it ” BECKS”

  • O.T.56

    Wow! so many Bahamians in denial attacking Mrs. Allen. Go to YouTube and in search type, Caribbean crime wave, and you’ll hear for yourselves what Bahamians think of there so called paradise today. Since this video was put on YouTube, it has gotten even worse in the Bahamas. I worked at the Atlantis hotel last year for 3 months and there was even a robbery at the hotel casino. Police shot off theirs guns and so did the robbers, maybe that’s when Mrs. Allen was visiting? But I tell you, she’s not lying, you Bahamians in denial are. Just look it up yourselves if you think it’s a lie, there was a casino robbery last year and shots were fired at the Atlantis, it’s a fact.

  • Brian Ellison

    Dana, when you arrive at Nassau, the ship will give you a written message warning you of the dangers of Nassau. When you step off the ship you will see Bahamian Military officers with full automatic weapons. This is the only port you will receive this warning, and see automatic weapons, makes you wonder why? I went on a cruise 6 months ago that stopped at Nassau first, and now I’m in the middle of writing a letter to the company asking them, why it stops there?

  • Becks

    @ O.T56
    If that was when Mrs. Allen heard the shots she should have mentioned that it was during the robbery…..she didn’t. The way she has written her comments it gives the impression that one hears gunshots every night all night….to quote her, “all you hear is loud rap music, and gunshots through out the night. ”

    So….I’m afraid she has no credibility.

    BTW…..Bahamians in denial? .I think not, especially since 99% of those murdered are Bahamian and all the crime affects the residents and native Bahamians far more than tourists..everybody who lives in Nassau knows and talks about the increase in crime…..but I haven’t seen any comments on this thread that denies there is a crime problem in Nassau.

  • Capt. Rollins

    As a retired Dade County law enforcer I can stand up for Mrs. Allen on her behalf. The Atlantis Hotel had a casino robbery last year that has been down played by the RBPF and Bahamian government so not to affect tourism in this economy that is destroying the Bahamas. Read todays news on (www.thenassauguardian.com),even a Royal Bahamian police officer’s son is committing crimes to survive a foreclosure from a bank. Warnings to the Bahamian government if they continue to down play their crime problem and not warning tourist, travel agents, airlines, cruise ship companies of the situation, there will be actions taken by the U.S. Travel Dept. in D.C. Our government has been paying close attention and is very concerned with the crime problem in Nassau. Concerned that a government over through could take place and thousands of Bahamians would exodus into the U.S. There is no indication that the Bahamian government is controlling the crime problem, as a matter of fact, it’s getting worse by the day. 98 murders in date and the year is not even over yet. Last year 89 murders at this same time, over 100 murders a year for such a small population. It is calculated that 95% of the population owns an illegal weapon of some kind. There are so many weapons entering the Bahamas through the South East coast of the U.S. that their police and military would have no chance against population take over. And this is why the U.S. is so concerned about what’s happening in the Bahamas. There are even recordings of the Bahamian Prime Minister admitting they have lost all control of the matter, this is seriously concerning.

  • WTF!

    Wait a minute BECK’s, on your first comment you attack Mrs. Allen, saying she’s a liar and a bulls#$T artist for hearing gunshots at the Atlantis hotel. Now on your second comment you say, and I quote your own words, “If that was when Mrs. Allen heard the shots she should have mentioned that it was during the robbery”. So Beck’s, you knew about the shootings and the robbery, right, but failed to mention it. Who’s creditability is in question now my trustworthy Bahamian?

  • Erica W.

    Hello everyone,
    I have to say with the internet there is no hiding from the truth, I read all the comments but took it in stride. So I did my own research, and if this was a hearing in a court room Mrs. Allen would win hands up. First of all there was a casino robbery at the hotel, it was set up by an employee in the casino with the help of their Bahamian relatives. Second, shots were fired by both police and thieves. Third, there was a search for one of the robbers through out the hotel, he was caught. So this incident did take place, and this is what Mrs. Allen heard. Fourth, Mrs. Allen never said there was gunshots every night, she said, “through out the night”, not every night. I believe every word Mrs. Allen has written, including the over priced tourist trap and crappy attitudes. Did you know that a 15% tip is added to every bill in the Atlantis. If a 15% tip is added to your bill, who cares if the service is good or not, that’s the Bahamian mentally, I read it in one of their newspapers, imagine that, they even emit to it.

  • Becks

    @WTF……you obviously can’t follow a discussion.
    @Erica W……nobody is denying there was a robbery at the Atlantis…but Mrs Allen did not say that she was at the hotel when the robbery took place or that she heard shots during the robbery, she never mentioned the robbery….seems to me if she had been there during the robbery she would have said so.so you, Erica, cannot say that is what she heard.
    Mrs Allen did not say it was just one night….here are her exact words and she purposely constructed her sentence to avoid saying it was just one night.
    “If that isn’t enough to keep tourist away, try sleeping there at night, all you hear is loud rap music, and gunshots through out the night.”

    Erica W…..I’m sure you are aware that the tip is also added to most bills in most countries in Europe and in most other countries in the Caribbean…..

  • Erica W.

    To my dear Becks,I’ve traveled to Cuba, Aruba, Caymans, Turk and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bonaire, Curacao ,USVI,BVI, Hawaii, Crook Islands, Tahiti and never had a pre added tip to my bill, it was up to me to judge the service I received. Last year was my first time to the Bahamas since I moved back from the West coast of the U.S. to NYC., so most resent travels were in the Pacific. But I do have to comment, if the whole Caribbean has become like the Bahamas, I may seriously conceder moving back to the West coast if my vacation distention’s are threatened, I live for free diving.

  • Marianne

    Here is a letter to the editor that is self explanatory unfortunately http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/oct/30/how-many-times-must-my-family-and-household-be/
    I wish I was in a position to offer this person a job my heart goes out to him and others that are trapped in a mire of crime and fear .

  • Sad place to be

    What a sad place the Bahamas has become today, it wasn’t like this in the 70’s and 80’s. I just read todays Bahamian news on (www.bahamaspress.com) Lord, this country needs help, and fast. It’s just bad news after bad news, this must have a mental affect on good abiding citizens to see and read this everyday. It seems their government is more concerned about selling off the Bahamas to their rich Chinese friends or Casino owners (probably pay offs are involved) than the safety and well being of their own people who voted them into office. The people are so distracted by partying, gambling, drinking, doping, that their numb to the insanity that is happening around them. They know about it, talk about it, write about it, comment about it, but yet nothing is done, Wow! Even the Bahamas press newspaper suggests vigilantism for one of the murderers just caught at one Paradise Island Hotel. Get this, the police say they caught him living at a “Popular Hotel”, the police and government won’t even name the hotel to not effect tourism. But that’s not all, you have to read the rest of the bad news, mean while their government advertises all over the World ” It’s better in the Bahamas”, Wow! Even their government doesn’t give a damn about the tourist safety, only the money they bring. Damn, why would they, the prove everyday to their own people they could care less about humanity. I tell you Jim Walker, our country should reward you with some type of an award, you take your own time to keep your fellow American safe, damn, your helping all countries, THANK YOU JAMES.

  • Wayne

    To Marianne, this breaks my heart, no one should have to live like this. It is so apparent that the Bahamian government is corrupt to the core and is oppressing it’s own people for their own gain. This story breaks my heart, I too would help this person if I could, God bless them, and may God help them.

  • 99%

    Wow Marianne, this isn’t a sad story, it’s more like a miracle story! His house was robbed EIGHT times, and no one was killed!? Some one up there likes him and is telling him to get the hell out while he can. And he did make a big mistake by not taking that teaching job in N.J. He would probably be very well off by now, owning vacation homes anywhere he wished, now that’s sad.

  • InaguasVeryOwn

    Reading these comments I musy say, our country is getting worst. But to all of the tourist that visit or plan to visit do remember THE BAHAMAS IS MADE UP OF 700 ISLANDS AND KEYS ! Nassau is not the only place you can visit if you travel through out the Bahamas you would enjoy you trip and say it was money well spent. The Exumas, Abaco, Eleuthera, Inagua, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Berry Island, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells just to name a few. I cant blame you for looking out for the well being of you and other tourist but when you say the Bahamas is not a place to visit rethink that you should refer to Nassau, google the other family islands and what they offer.

  • Sue

    I don’t know about that “InaguasVeryOwn,” I went to Abaco a few months ago and the police were having trouble with the teenagers hanging out at Turtle beach playing lord rap music, and drinking all night long. There was even a stabbing incident later in the night at the same place. Actually, to me it would be even more dangerous on those isolated islands with so many illegal immigrants passing through and crime out of control. They found a skeleton in Wilson city while I was there, go to (www.abaconian.com) and in search type (police report) so isolated that the police have no clue how long it’s been there. And I read recently in the Nassau Guardian that the murderers and gang members have a new code among themselves which was used by pirates hundreds of years ago; “DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES”. In other words, no witnesses, no justice can be brought to them. So this means a person could lose their lives for pretty thief too. Until your dishonest government gets a hold on crime and starts telling the truth about it, you can keep the WHOLE BAHAMAS to yourself.

  • 99 bottles of beer on the wall 99 bottles of beer

    As of today 11/3/14, Capt. Rollins, it’s 99 murders and counting, read it in the Nassau guardian.

  • Geworden

    Reading through the above post was very interesting, lots of person bashing the Bahamas and the crime situation. First of I’m a law enforcement officer recently retired here in the Bahamas, and would like to address and shed some light on a few things. First to Mrs. Allen, I do apologize that you have had such an experience her in the Bahamas, though a lot of what you describe in questionable, and can be interpreted in many ways and argued, I again as an ambassador from the Bahamas apologize to you and your family. I also would like you and everyone here to understand, this is in no way a reflection of the Bahamas as a country. Atlantis, a mega hotel that sits on its own island (paradise island), with is own police trained security force, backed by the local Royal Bahamas Police Force. On paradise island itself, there’s been less that 10 incidents since January 2014 to date. And disturbance that Mrs. Allen may have experienced (music etc.) while staying there could have only been from guest in the hotel, as noise is not permitted on the island unless a sanctioned and permitted event, as half of the island is inhabited but the worlds elite. And being in charge of a division that included Paradise Island this is fact. If Mrs. Allen trip was around spring break, or during the college basketball event, or event during the Miami heat training camp held at Atlantis, this all could have been possible. Also with the Paradise Island distance from Nassau, its not possible to hear anything music or otherwise from Nassau. My Apology still stands to you Mrs. Allen. There are a number of inaccuracies that I have read, to address a few… To be clear on the Atlantis Robbery, Fact… there was an “attempted” robbery in 2012 at Atlantis Casino by 2 foreign nationals and 2 locals one being a former disgruntled employee. Fact… there were no shots fired at anytime, no guns were used, perpetrators threw pepper spray in cashiers cage thru rear access vents, gained access as they ran out, posing as maintenance men. Fact…. All this happen behind the scene in the employee areas no time visible by hotel or casino guest! Fact 2 perpetrators, were caught by hotel employees, and 2 by hotel security, 1 of which (the mastermind) rented a room at the hotel where he coordinated the robbery. Masterminds were a U.S citizen, and a Jamaican National. As for the influx in murders, like every other country we in the Bahamas have our challenges, whether unemployment, recession etc. there are factors at play. But know that 95% of murders are related, this means that its retaliatory and in no way random. We also have an influx of foreign nationals, who have brought the violence from their homelands to our country. So don’t make the Bahamas out to seem like a violent place where just by visiting someone will walk up and kill you, that’s just not the case. I have travelled all over and there are places in countries I would not go also, (inner-city, ghetto, slums etc). Yes, we have also had crimes of opportunity to visitors/tourist, but I can tell you that 60% are visitors looking to score drugs while on vacation. While this is no excuse, I just want facts to be understood about the Bahamas and whats really happening. As mentioned about other countries, like cayman for example, the demographic is different and cayman employment rate is down to 8%, but still has murders, during my trip there in 2013, as I exited a local eatery I watch a guy get shot in his car. Someone also mentioned trouble with teenagers, tell me how many countries, or state that don’t have problems with teenagers, some of you here have had fun in your teen years being a nuisance. All country have challenges and we’re no different, in the last 5 month more than 1200 Bahamians visiting Florida were robbed, raped etc., and its clear Bahamians who travel to florida for “BIG” shopping are being targeted. But will that stop us, NO, will we be more cautious YES. I can probably mentions crimes statistics by state and country, but WHY? If you always only focus on negative about a place, you will never see it for what it is. So while everyone here is entitle to their opinions, based on there knowledge and understanding of the Bahamas, there’s more that you don’t know, that the papers and reports don’t have. We are working hard everyday to make the Bahamas better, especially with the help of the U.S, so please don’t let the media give you the impression that, it’s the only thing happening here, its not. We have millionaires, billionaires, celebrities, Arab royalty, Chinese royalty, investors the world over, moving to the Bahamas, investing in the Bahamas, retiring to the Bahamas….. So like the days of the cocaine cowboys in florida that tarnished the sunshine state for awhile, we are a little rough now, but so is a diamond before its shined. To those who vow not to come back or visit, I am sorry you made that decision, because there a lot more to the bahamas and apologize for your experience… for those who will still give the Bahamas a chance, we are a country with 700 beautiful islands of warm and friendly people, we welcome you. I apologize if this post offended anyone, not my intention.

  • Yale
  • Geworden

    Yale, as mentioned I’m retired. and I’m a very upfront and honest person, I give wrong where it stands. My first question is, do you know any government around the world, that does not have questionable or corrupt (scandal tainted) politicians? Unfortunately most persons (avg. bahamian) who do not know what really happens behind close door of government offices can only speculate. I can say we have had a fair share or accusations, scandals etc, from the 80’s to now, there was never any evidence or convictions, but we know some things happened. Like any country the people are not blind to whats going on, but most are not accurate in there assumptions. I myself had very questionable directives handed down which i had to follow. But those in power in any country must always look at a bigger picture as it relate to “country” and not individuals. While there are few who own business and industries that seem to always stay on top no matter whats happening with the country, the government is still in debt, and not getting richer. And this is the same in most governments, the rich have the power and tend to sway things in there favor. And yes politician get caught up in it, because there in the public eye. There are a few, who pockets get fatter of back door deals, because truth be told, there are too many lawyers in politics who know how to work the system. There is more that can be done, and we work and fight each day for that, especially our unions. Some do feel we have a weak commissioner, whose not as take charge and aggressive as his predecessors. And understand, that the down playing of crime, is a global police strategy, all countries do it, as to not panic the people, and this is from policing seminars iv’e attending throughout the caribbean, U.K, Canada, and washington. But I repeat my point, although you are hearing about the crimes, there are more to it, like persons being known by there violators, retaliations etc., though still not an excuse, we seem to have a big problem with anger management and conflict resolution. And I only state facts, like a popular saying we use “people will believe a rumor, before they accept the truth”, you and everyone else are entitled to your opinions, and thoughts regardless, and i respect that. And note this, in your own country, neighborhood or area, the newspapers, the headlines are 90% always the hype, bad things etc., good positive stories are buried in the back. We’re no different, from the new developments in tourism, investments, etc., never seem to bring conversation does it. And no disrespect taking Yale, anything else I’ll be happy to comment.

  • Erica

    Mr. Geworden, we know our country is screwed up too but with a super much larger population than yours (USA). That’s why so many people are pissed off here in the U.S. Now a place we looked forward to (Bahamas), escaping our own insanity for at least a week or two, has now become like us, if not worst.

  • Bill Cooke

    “Miami-Dade County (population over 2,500,000) has ten times the population of New Providence (250,000) but fewer homicides (86 in Miami to over 100 in New Providence) last year. ”

    The City of Miami and Miami-Dade County are two entirely different jurisdictions. The two are not interchangeable. The City of Miami maintains their own crime stats.

  • From Nassau

    GeWorden my brother, why don’t you stop bullshitting these people, your insulting their intelligence? Of course there was never any “evidence or convictions”, it’s the fuckin Bahamian government! This isn’t the U.S.A. where there is a higher power an just one man. If a U.S. president fucks up, he ends up like Nixon, but here in our country, who takes down the Prime Minister, and why haven’t they yet!

  • S.J

    Are you people stupid or just dumb? If you feel visiting a foreign country is unsafe….Don’t Go!

  • Mark

    Wow, eye opener. Seems to me that the Bahamas are out of control. From shootings( thought having a pistol was illegal ) to robberies to corrupt government. My wife and I used to vacation there. NO MORE. Last time there quite a few “Locals” had enough…. sales taxe, VAT and property tax…… for what???? A murder rate higher than Maimi…… crazy. If you (the Bahamas) want US tourists and dollars then provide a safe environment. In my opinion with the current government it will NEVER happen….