Crime & Safety
While this OSAC report covers the list of countries shown, I have focussed on Barbados: Antigua And Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Martinique (French Antilles), Montserrat, Saint Kitts And Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French/Dutch), Saint Vincent And Grenadines. Read the entire 22 Apr 2008 OSAC report here.
Editor’s Summary:
Both non-violent and violent crime is increasing in the region, but the local police are providing a higher level of protection to tourists compared to that provided to residents.
The Police are poorly trained and ineffective. Tourists are advised not to leave the tourist areas, and not to depend on the Police response to a call.
The drug traffickers have not directed violence towards tourists. More counterfeit money is being detected.
Visitor harassment is common, but rarely violent.
Growing perception that violent crime is increasing

Resident American citizens are reporting non-confrontational property crimes in higher numbers and there is a growing perception that violent crime is increasing.

Also, local governments tend to provide a higher level of uniformed police presence in residential and business areas frequented by tourists. Police stations and police outposts are strategically located in those
areas (specifically in Barbados
Police Poorly Trained and Ineffective

In comparison to large metropolitan police departments in the United States, Eastern Caribbean police forces lack vigor, they suffer from a lack of resources and training, and are inconsistent in the
level and quality of services provided to the general public and tourism sectors. This is not to suggest that police commissioners and senior police administrators lack education and experience, quite the contrary. It is, however, accurate to say that almost all
Eastern Caribbean police forces are under-funded, under-staffed, and ill equipped to meet the growing challenges of the post-9/11 world.

Narcoterrorism and Narco Violence

Barbados is considered a transshipment point for narcotics in the Eastern Caribbean destined for the United States and Europe. Police have encountered shooting incidents with individuals involved in the illicit activity. In addition, law enforcement has been successful in apprehending individuals involved in the illicit sale, possession, or smuggling of narcotics. Police officials have identified gangs suspected to be involved in illicit narcotics. The gangs have the potential to be violent; however no violence has been directed toward tourists.

Counterfeit Currency

The detection of counterfeit currency is on the rise in the Eastern Caribbean. Several cases of counterfeit U.S. currency have been reported and are being investigated by the Barbados police. In 2005, the local media reported that many Barbados businesses were refusing to accept $100 U.S. notes for fear of receiving counterfeit currency.

Police Response

Eastern Caribbean uniformed police forces lack the necessary resources to provide a consistent and timely police response.

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

In the Eastern Caribbean, foot travel outside of well-established tourist areas is not recommended, especially alone or at night.Another common concern is visitor harassment. Over-zealous merchants will offer a variety of legal and illegal items for sale, and visitors should use caution in dealing with them. The harassment rarely turns violent.