Bahamas says it remains ‘safe and welcoming destination’ even though 18 people were killed openly by gangs in January

Bahamas says it remains ‘safe and welcoming destination’ even though 18 people were killed openly by gangs in January

The Bahamas government has strongly refuted recent travel warnings issued by the United States, affirming that the country remains a ‘safe and welcoming’ destination despite an unfortunate surge in homicides.

The Prime Minister, Philip Davis, emphasized that the incidents highlighted in the January 2024 US Embassy crime alert do not accurately represent the overall safety conditions in The Bahamas, which boasts sixteen tourism destinations and numerous islands.

Rebutting US Travel Advisories

In response to two warnings from the US State Department, including a recent travel advice update urging caution due to increased crime, Prime Minister Davis assured that the country’s safety rating remains at level 2, consistent with most tourism destinations.

The government maintains that the recent spate of homicides, primarily driven by retaliatory gang violence, does not reflect the general safety across the diverse islands of The Bahamas.

Government’s Proactive Measures

Prime Minister Davis conveyed the government’s commitment to proactively address the crime situation, outlining a comprehensive crime reduction and prevention strategy.

This strategy, informed by the latest research and successful international models, focuses on prevention, detection, prosecution, punishment, and rehabilitation.

The government has implemented enhanced law enforcement measures, including an increased police presence, additional resources such as facial recognition CCTV surveillance technology, and specialized training.

Notably, a zero-tolerance policy for firearm possession is in place, with a dedicated Magistrate handling firearm offenses.

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