News Americas, TORONTO, Canada, Weds. May 3, 2017: The scourge of crime in some Caribbean nations has led the Canadian government to update its travel warnings on Tuesday May 2nd on eight Caribbean nations. Canada’s government is warning its nationals to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to the 8 nations. They are:
The Canadian government urges nationals to exercise a high degree of caution at all times, when travelling to the Bahamas and to monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities. They also advised that crime occurs mainly in Nassau and Freeport and there has been an increase in armed robberies targeting tourists in Nassau. Canadians were also warned to avoid deserted beaches if travelling there, and not to walk alone, particularly after dark since sexual assaults are on the rise in Nassau, the country’s capital.
Canadians are being warned to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to Belize due to a high rate of violent crimes throughout the country. The Canadian government warns about criminal activity, including armed robbery, mugging and sexual assault, saying it is “a significant problem throughout Belize including in resort areas.”
They also warned of armed robberies that occasionally occur near the western border with Guatemala, including near and around Caracol. Female travelers are especially warned to travel in groups and avoid isolated areas, including unsupervised beaches, especially at nights, since cases of sexual assault against female travelers have been reported.
The Dominican Republic
Canada’s government, which issues the travel updates, also warns about high crime rates in the Dominican Republic. This includes pick-pocketing and bag-snatching, which can occur at resorts, beaches, airports, bus stations and on public transportation and from hotel room safes, as well as from cars, particularly rentals, the government said.
They also warn travelers to be wary of drive-by robberies, where thieves on motorcycles, scooters or bicycles grab bags and other valuables from pedestrians and of criminals impersonating police officers, who will stop vehicles and ask foreigner drivers for payment of fines for made-up offences. Women travelling alone were also warned to exercise caution when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances, especially regarding the acceptance of rides or other invitations, since incidents of assault, rape and sexual aggression against foreigners have occurred, including at beach resorts. In some cases, hotel employees have been implicated, the Canadian government statement said.
Canadians are being warned of high crime levels in Guyana including assaults, pick-pocketing, purse snatching, break-ins, armed robberies, car thefts and carjacking, particularly in Georgetown, including Stabroek Market, Tiger Bay and South Georgetown.
The Canadian government also said the Guyana sea wall, from east of the Pegasus Hotel extending to Sheriff Street and adjacent areas, has been the site of several crimes and should be avoided after dark, as well as the villages of Buxton, Lusignan, Friendship and Annadale and New Amsterdam. The travel warning says travelers should also be wary when travelling on the road to and from Cheddi Jagan International Airport and on the Linden Highway, especially at night, since violent attacks have also occurred on the roads.
The Canadian government is warning against non-essential travel to the neighborhoods of Martissant, Carrefour, Bel Air and Cité Soleil, in the Port-au-Prince area of Haiti, “as the security situation is particularly unstable and dangerous.” Canadians who must travel to these areas must take appropriate security precautions and ensure that family members, friends, colleagues, local business representatives or organizations know when to expect you so they can meet you as soon as you arrive at the airport or border, and can guide you in your travels, the government warning said. The government also advised of criminal activity that is especially prevalent in large centers such as downtown Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, where armed gangs continue to operate. “There have been reports of murders, kidnappings, armed robbery, burglary and carjacking, even in daylight hours. Never walk alone and avoid travelling after nightfall,” the statement added.
If in Jamaica, Canadians are warned to avoid travel to the areas of Tivoli Gardens, Whitfield Town, Payne Land, West Kingston, Grant’s Pen, August Town, Denham Town, Hannah Town, Arnett Gardens, Olympic Gardens, Harbour View, Central Village, Spanish Town, Mountain View, Trench Town, Cassava Piece, Canterbury, Norwood and Rose Heights. You should also avoid some parts of Montego Bay, namely St. Clavers Avenue and Hart Street, Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Rose Heights and Mount Salem in Jamaica, the Canadian travel warning said. The government also warned Canadian travelers to be on the lookout for petty theft, pick-pocketing and bag-snatching that are common in major tourist areas; to not walk alone while visiting the island; to exercise extreme caution in all regions of the country after dark and avoid visiting beaches and isolated areas at night and to be wary of “friendly” strangers since there have been reports of alleged sexual assaults at tourist resorts carried out by resort staff and, in some cases, by other tourists.
Trinidad & Tobago
In Trinidad & Tobago, Canadians are warned to remain highly vigilant in Laventille and at popular tourist sites such as Fort George, La Brea (Pitch Lake) and Las Cuevas beach, where the government says crimes targeting foreigners have been reported. Canadian travelers to T&T are also warned to avoid unpopulated areas such as scenic overlooks, especially after dark and around the docks in Port of Spain.
Canadian travelers to Suriname are warned to be on alert since banditry and lawlessness are a problem in the cities of Albina and Moengo, and along the East-West Highway between Paramaribo and Albina. The government also warn Canadians to avoid the areas of Palm Garden (“Palmentuin”) in the Dutch area of Paramaribo after dark due to illicit activities and the lack of police presence; to ensure that your personal belongings, passports and travel documents are secure at all times and to avoid walking alone after dark outside the immediate vicinity of major hotels.