Security warning and travel advisory issued by U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas following 18 murders reported in January
02/01/2024 // Ava Grace // Views

The U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas has released a security warning and travel advisory that the island nation is currently unsafe for American tourists after 18 murders primarily motivated by gang violence were reported in January.

The U.S. Embassy in the Bahamian capital of Nassau warned that safety concerns in the island nation have reached a point of severity where U.S. officials are warning Americans in the Bahamas to not even try to "physically resist" being robbed.

"Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight in the streets," wrote the embassy in a press release recommending the use of "extreme caution," especially for Americans who plan to travel through the eastern side of Nassau, where most of the violence has occurred. The embassy has also warned Americans to be especially vigilant at nighttime and to "keep a low profile" always. (Related: introduces a travel safety tool with LED light, radio, cell phone charger, seatbelt cutter, glass break and more.)

In response to the rising violence, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said that the country will be instituting roadblocks and deploying more cover police officers around high crime areas to contain the crisis.

"This [the roadblocks] 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," said Davis.

Bahamian government pushes back against U.S. travel advisory, claims country is "safe and welcoming"

The Bahamian government insists the island nation remains safe for U.S. tourists despite the American embassy's travel warnings.

"The Government of the Bahamas is alert, attentive and proactive to ensure that the Bahamas remains a safe and welcoming destination," noted the Office of the Prime Minister in a statement released on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Along with installing roadblocks and deploying more undercover police officers, Davis noted that the government is implementing a "robust and innovative crime prevention strategy" involving other "rigorous steps to maintain our well-earned reputation."

Other steps Davis's government is taking is to provide more resources for police, upgrading public surveillance cameras with facial recognition technology, giving police officers additional training and implementing a zero-tolerance policy for firearm possession.

Chief Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings of the Royal Bahamas Police Force noted on Sunday, Jan. 28, that the police confiscated nine firearms and 1,500 rounds of ammunition during one week's worth of crime roundups.

In a statement, Davis said that the recent murders "do not reflect general safety in the Bahamas, a country of 16 tourism destinations and many more islands."

The U.S. State Department currently has the Bahamas on a Level 2 advisory status for American travelers, which means U.S. citizens heading to the Bahamas are urged to "exercise increased caution." The Bahamas has been at Level 2 since 2022, an improvement from 2020 when the nation was at various times assigned Level 3 – "rethink travel" – and Level 4 – "do not travel" – status due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Visit for similar stories involving crime and violence.

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