Last updated: 11:09 AM ET, Thu July 14 2016

New US Security Message Follows Bahamas Warning On Travel

Destination & Tourism | Brian Major | July 14, 2016

New US Security Message Follows Bahamas Warning On Travel

PHOTO: The latest U.S. security message advises visitors to exercise caution in the resort areas of Nassau and Paradise Island. (Photo by Brian Major).

Days after the Bahamas government issued an advisory warning citizens traveling to the U.S. to exercise caution following “recent tensions” in American cities, the U.S. Embassy in Nassau is distributing its own security message warning U.S. citizens in the Bahamas to “be mindful of their surroundings at all times” and employ “practical personal security” due to crime.   

The U.S. Embassy’s July 12 crime warning is the first issued by a U.S. agency in the Bahamas since 2014, although it is the second security message released this year. The warning reports that “over the course of the past six months, the U.S. Embassy has received reports of a significant increase in armed robberies throughout [Nassau].” The warning advises visitors to “avoid using ATM machines in isolated areas” and keep car doors locked and windows up while driving.  

“Armed robberies and violent crimes continue to be the primary criminal threat in The Bahamas, which in many instances have occurred in areas frequented by tourists,” the warning adds.

The U.S. Embassy warning comes on the heels of a July 8 Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs advisory warning Bahamians traveling to the U.S. to “exercise appropriate caution” due to “the recent tensions in some American cities” following the shootings of young black men by police officers.

The advisory followed the shooting deaths of two black men by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, and the killings of five police officers by a gunman in Dallas. The advisory warns Bahamians to refrain from joining protests and avoid crowds. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have also issued warnings to their citizens traveling in the United States to exercise caution careful and avoid demonstrations.

The Nassau Guardian reports that Bernard Nottage, the Bahamas’ minister of national security, said in June that armed robberies were down 21 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period last year, and that crime overall was down 29 percent during the period.

In a Bahamas Tribune report, a U.S. embassy spokesperson said there was no connection between the latest security message and the Bahamas’ July 8 advisory. The embassy was legally required to issue a warning to citizens after staff and their families were alerted due to increasing reports of armed robberies, the spokesperson said.

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