The US embassy in the Bahamas has advised Americans visiting the country to be cautious – after nearly 20 people were killed in one month alone.
A security warning and advisory warning tourists about the rising levels of gang violence and homicides has been released by the US embassy in Nassau.
A spike in violent crime, including burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assaults has been recorded in both tourist and non-tourist areas since the beginning of 2024.
According to officials, 18 murders have been reported in the country in January alone, with retaliatory gang violence being the primary motive.
Americans have been advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties.
‘Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets,’ the embassy wrote in a release.
Officials have also asked tourists to not physically resist any robbery attempt and to not answer the front door at any hotel/residence for unknown people.
The State Department has placed the Bahamas on its ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ warning list and even asked people to stay from water tours and sports.
‘Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated.
‘Watercraft may be poorly maintained, and some operators may not have safety certifications. Always review and heed local weather and marine alerts before engaging in water-based activities.
‘Never swim alone, regardless of your age or level of swimming skills. Keep within your fitness and swimming capabilities.
‘Be mindful of sharks when swimming and engaging in water activities, as there have been recent fatal and non-fatal incidents involving sharks.’
Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis commented on the advisory: ‘We will not violate anyone’s civil liberties, but you are likely to be impacted by more roadblocks and unannounced police action.
‘This may make you late for your appointments, or delay plans you have, but this is a small price to pay for the collective benefit of having our streets made safer, and our lives less blighted by murder and other violent crimes.’
According to local news, Davis has already introduced a crime plan to the public in response to the soaring murder rate this month.
Last week, video footage emerged of the moment a 30-year-old man was shot dead in the middle of the street in the middle of the day.
According to officials, Antonio Venus of Greaves Street, Monte Grant was murdered in Tunapuna on January 13.
Video shows a black Toyota AE100 crash, being driven by Venus, crash into the door of a white car and fall into a drain.
As the crash was happening, three men quickly stepped out of the white car with guns in hand and ran towards Venus.
They trio quickly shot at the car and ran back to their own car before driving off.
Police discovered Venus in the driver’s seat bleeding from gunshot wounds to his torso. He later died of injuries at a hospital.
Officials have not identified any suspects.