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-   -   violent crime in Barbados (https://britishexpats.com/forum/barbados-109/violent-crime-barbados-552288/)

flaxhigh Jul 30th 2008 11:29 pm

violent crime in Barbados
 
Hi there,

The murderous shootings of two UK honeymooners in Antigua is all over the news tonight. It is making me wonder what others feel about crime in Barbados. The statistics (if I understand them correctly) say that there are about 5 times more murders in Barbados than in most European countries or 10.4 murders per 100 000 population.

The point has been made in previous posts that there is violent crime in the UK. However, as most people here know, unless you are incredibly unlucky, if you live in a middle-class area you are highly unlikely to ever see a knife or a gun. You might be burgled but it is more likely that you will be burgled when you are out of the house and then usually in the big cities - Glasgow, London, Manchester etc.

When I was in Barbados looking at property every single agent said: no, crime isn't really a problem just get a big dog and you'll be fine. At all the hotels, apartments I have ever stayed in there have been security guards.

In the UK you don't have security guards in your hotels/apartments and you don't need a big dog unless you live in a rough area and even then you don't actually need one. Violent crimes against strangers are very uncommon. Most gun/knife crime is drug/gang related which means it is confined and not a threat to the majority population.

I know this is an emotive issue as I can understand that one might wish to defend one's own country or the country one has chosen to live in but I would still be interested in hearing peoples' views.

Apart from a mugging that I managed to get out of, I do feel generally safe in Barbados but that: 'get a big dog' message must mean something. Does it?

Linda

shines Jul 31st 2008 2:33 am

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 

Originally Posted by flaxhigh (Post 6629882)
Hi there,

The murderous shootings of two UK honeymooners in Antigua is all over the news tonight. It is making me wonder what others feel about crime in Barbados. The statistics (if I understand them correctly) say that there are about 5 times more murders in Barbados than in most European countries or 10.4 murders per 100 000 population.

The point has been made in previous posts that there is violent crime in the UK. However, as most people here know, unless you are incredibly unlucky, if you live in a middle-class area you are highly unlikely to ever see a knife or a gun. You might be burgled but it is more likely that you will be burgled when you are out of the house and then usually in the big cities - Glasgow, London, Manchester etc.

When I was in Barbados looking at property every single agent said: no, crime isn't really a problem just get a big dog and you'll be fine. At all the hotels, apartments I have ever stayed in there have been security guards.

In the UK you don't have security guards in your hotels/apartments and you don't need a big dog unless you live in a rough area and even then you don't actually need one. Violent crimes against strangers are very uncommon. Most gun/knife crime is drug/gang related which means it is confined and not a threat to the majority population.

I know this is an emotive issue as I can understand that one might wish to defend one's own country or the country one has chosen to live in but I would still be interested in hearing peoples' views.

Apart from a mugging that I managed to get out of, I do feel generally safe in Barbados but that: 'get a big dog' message must mean something. Does it?

Linda

Hi Linda,

It is hard to compare the Uk to here in terms of security as it is a totally different envirnoment, the message re a big dog is not the same as if you were told it in the UK - if that makes sense..?

The big dog message is basically a secure option, you will not be troubled at all if you have a big dog or two. It is the bajan burgular alarm (most people in the UK have an alarm...) Also, there are a lot of dogs here that need homes so if you got a few it would be helping out - the Hope Sanctuary is the place to get a rescue dog or 2!

The statistic re murders sounds high to me, Barbados is a very small Island and major crimes tend not to happen as most people know everyone here (I am not kidding - Barbados is very small!!!) so the people who commit crimes are often easily found...

I do know that in "ex pat" areas burglary is higher as the local thieves would imagine that they are likely to get better pickings here plus they probably hold the view that ex pats are insured and can replace things. The main reason for theft is drug related, the proximity to South America makes drugs a problem (as they are the world over) and therefore theft is an issue.

I live in St Lucy, in the North of the Island, in a local area. Whilst we do have dogs we also never lock our doors... I have friends in "ex pat" areas and they have been burgled, have burglar bars, security systems etc in place... No dogs though...!

I have never come across any crime personally and have always felt safe and seucre living here.

HTH a little

S

Sunniebgi Jul 31st 2008 12:10 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
I'm going to mostly agree with what Shines has said. I've lived in Barbados for 15 1/2 years. My home has only ever been broken into once (knock on wood), and likely if I had had a big dog on the property, it would not have happened. They are like burgler alarms. (My next door neighbor has both, the dog and the alarm and the alarm goes off more times than not because of the wind and birds flying into the windows and setting those off).

I'm not sure about the "ex-pat" areas, as I don't feel we have places like that (enclaves of ex-pats) Maybe it's a reference to the areas in which more ex-pats choose to live, South Coast, West Coast. Unfortunately those who are going to steal are going to do it in areas viewed as having the best chance of success in getting something out of it, so if the ex-pat happens to live in the ritzy area of Sandy Lane, well, likely they will have their home broken into, but I can't go so far as to say they will be shot and killed.

I also think your statistics are not correct. with an average population of 250,000 people, I'm fairly certain we don't have 25 people die each year due to violent crime.

flaxhigh Jul 31st 2008 12:40 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
Many thanks for your insights. Food for thought certainly. I have been told by one estate agent to live on the East coast and avoid west coast areas as people do tend to look out for each other more. I like the idea of rescue dogs except I feel with a 3 year old who likes to stick his hand in dogs' mouths (as they do...) it might be a little tricky. I don't somehow think the miniature dachshund we presently have is going to quite do the trick...

I would want to be either up north or east coast- ish just for convenience of schools. Though I do know of a couple of people in south coast gated communities. I wonder how safe these gated communities really are? I had to laugh as last time we were on island we drove past the edge of Royal Westmoreland and there was just a low wall skirting the grounds which could easily be scaled. So much for the impressive guarded gate at the entrance. I don't like the idea of gated communities anywhere in the world - though people are welcome of course to live anyway they wish - they just don't attract me personally. However, I wonder if this might be the best option - just at least for the feeling of safety and people around?

Linda

Foxy_fromCanada Jul 31st 2008 2:10 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
I did a quick search to see what's available online. Some of the websites below might be helpful in putting the crime rate into perspective. Not all have up-to-date data, unfortunately.

Something interesting: one page mentions Barbados has a higher rate of reporting crime - if this is true, one may draw obvious conclusions.

Some of these are newspaper articles, which one can take as one likes... some truth, some opinion? Hard to tell.

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a

http://www.data360.org/graph_group.a...h_Group_Id=441

http://www.nationmaster.com/country/...ados/cri-crime

http://www.barbadospolice.gov.bb/_se...e%20Prevention

http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.c...urts-barbados/

I've only been here a month, so my experience is short-lived. But so far, I have not been mugged or murdered and hope it stays that way. Common sense, as always, is key. I live on the south coast in a busy area and feel safe here. I act with the same prudence I would in Toronto (locking doors, not walking alone at night, not flashing around big wads of cash (I wish!!), taking a cab home, not leaving valuables on display, etc.). I have not felt the need to take extra precautions beyond what I would have taken in Toronto. I trust this is reality, and not naivete ;)

Best to you.
Foxy

shines Jul 31st 2008 2:13 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 

Originally Posted by Sunniebgi (Post 6631338)
I'm going to mostly agree with what Shines has said. I've lived in Barbados for 15 1/2 years. My home has only ever been broken into once (knock on wood), and likely if I had had a big dog on the property, it would not have happened. They are like burgler alarms. (My next door neighbor has both, the dog and the alarm and the alarm goes off more times than not because of the wind and birds flying into the windows and setting those off).

I'm not sure about the "ex-pat" areas, as I don't feel we have places like that (enclaves of ex-pats) Maybe it's a reference to the areas in which more ex-pats choose to live, South Coast, West Coast. Unfortunately those who are going to steal are going to do it in areas viewed as having the best chance of success in getting something out of it, so if the ex-pat happens to live in the ritzy area of Sandy Lane, well, likely they will have their home broken into, but I can't go so far as to say they will be shot and killed.

I also think your statistics are not correct. with an average population of 250,000 people, I'm fairly certain we don't have 25 people die each year due to violent crime.

Hi Sunnnie,

You are right, what I mean by "expat" areas are those housing esates where you tend to find a lot of ex pats living, not always in gated areas. Mainly on the west/south coast. As you say people who steal will always tend to go to areas where they will gain the most...

S

shines Jul 31st 2008 2:18 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
[QUOTE=flaxhigh;6631412] I like the idea of rescue dogs except I feel with a 3 year old who likes to stick his hand in dogs' mouths (as they do...) it might be a little tricky. I don't somehow think the miniature dachshund we presently have is going to quite do the trick...

Hi Linda,

There are plenty of rescue puppies too :D We got 2 last year when my daughter was 2 and they are fantatic little dogs, noisy to deter people but also fabulous with my daughter who spends most of her time outside running about with them. They are also great with my 9 month old too, she picks up thier paws and chews them (lovely child) and they just lie there and let her get on with it. A lot of people here tend to have larger dogs that live outside in the yard which can be fenced off, just the sight of them will deter most thieves.

S

Serendipidy Jul 31st 2008 5:40 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
Hi all

I have been living in Barbados for 3 years now and have defintley seen a change since the opening of the Caricom borders. I live on the south coast right in the heart of the tourist and ex pat area and have had my bag stolen on the beach (blatant 5 guys) and have heard of a couple of hold ups on the gap - but i dont feel this is bajans - im guessing its immigrants who cant be traced etc. Re the murder rate if that statistic is true im betting you that 90% of is either relationship orientated or youngsters who get into with each other cos they are the main things i have read about. It is very rare here for murders to be random.

I too read about the sad event in Antigua but to be honest as a bungled burglary that could have happened anywhere in the world - Barbados in my opinon is defnitley not as safe as it used to be but thats the price of globalisation, however community spirit is much more evident than in the uk so people wont be turning a blind eye in the street if anything happens. In fact when we got our bags stolen the local vendors on the beach actually went after them and recovered our bags - minus the phones and money etc -now im not sure how much you would see of that in the UK from complete strangers.

E-government is just coming into delivery here where the police will actually be able to talk to immigration and government more effectively (in theory lol)via computerised records and wil be able to track the movement of incoming immigrants more successfully.

If you can survive in the UK with the burglary rate, the pickpocketing, the drunken brawls, the druggie stealing, car vandalism etc - here will be a breeze lol. If however you were unfortuate enough to be burgled or experience some of the things that I have the kindness and support of the community around you will put the strife into perspective.

tulipknife Aug 2nd 2008 1:53 am

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
I found this a long time ago when researching crime stats in barbados and it made some interesting reading as it was a report made up from 35 industrialised countries with varying crime rates in different areas.

Barbados consistently made it into the bottom 3 crime regions in many areas and surprising as it may seem so did Northern Ireland??

Check it out and see but keep in mind it was made in 2002 so a few years have passed since but still interesting all the same.

http://www.barbados.gov.bb/Docs/AG-b...survey2002.pdf

Foxy_fromCanada Aug 2nd 2008 3:55 am

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
Hey Tulipknife,

That's interesting. I read the stat about N. Ireland before and was also surprised. I guess I errantly made an assumption.

Thanks for sharing.
Foxy

pgtips Aug 2nd 2008 10:03 am

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
I agree the best form of defence is a large dog or two, burglar alarms may make a noise but they can't physically stop an intruder like a dog.

flaxhigh Aug 2nd 2008 2:04 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
Thanks for those stats. I saw that on the internet and came to the conclusion that the threat of burglary is higher than in the UK - though it depends on where you live I guess. I live in a very safe area but there are other less safe areas where drug-related crime is higher.
The problem is that there deoesn't seem to be an area in Barbados where you can hide yourself away from crime as you can do in certain areas (to a larger extent anyway) in the UK. Which is why people are recommending the dogs whereever you live on the island.
I guess it all boils down to how much one wants to live in Barbados and how much risk one feels one wants to take.
I certainly feel pretty safe when I'm on the island but definitely not as safe as I do in the safe areas of the UK. Part of it also is being able to 'read'certain situations and knowing where the places to avoid are.
Linda

Sunniebgi Aug 2nd 2008 8:40 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 

Originally Posted by flaxhigh (Post 6638785)
Thanks for those stats. I saw that on the internet and came to the conclusion that the threat of burglary is higher than in the UK - though it depends on where you live I guess. I live in a very safe area but there are other less safe areas where drug-related crime is higher.
The problem is that there deoesn't seem to be an area in Barbados where you can hide yourself away from crime as you can do in certain areas (to a larger extent anyway) in the UK. Which is why people are recommending the dogs whereever you live on the island.
I guess it all boils down to how much one wants to live in Barbados and how much risk one feels one wants to take.
I certainly feel pretty safe when I'm on the island but definitely not as safe as I do in the safe areas of the UK. Part of it also is being able to 'read'certain situations and knowing where the places to avoid are.
Linda

I'm sorry Flax, but you are making it sound like the entire island of Barbados is totally unsafe just by the statements you are making. Yes I'm being defensive because I don't want people getting the wrong idea.

have you been there, do you live there?? I have for 16 years and in all honestly feel very safe almost 99pct of the time. I have a dog, small one, who likely isn't going to attack anyone, but I do, like in the US, make sure when I leave my house, that I lock my doors and make sure things are secure. Just like I would do in the US or UK. I'm guessing there aren't too many places left in the world where you can leave your house completely open 100pct of the time. I've never had anything stolen off the beach nor out of my car. I did have my cell phone stolen and it was 5 feet from me at the aquatic centre, with only my school and the employees who work at the pool around. but as far as violent crime, I can't say there is anywhere near the amount as in the UK, even based on the number of people.

The only place you would likely feel 100pct safe in Barbados is at the US Embassy or British High Commission and they have the security to make sure of that.

flaxhigh Aug 2nd 2008 9:10 pm

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
No, please don't take offence. Certainly none intended. I was seeking people's opinions as I value them. I am not trying to paint Barbados in a bad light. I have of course been to Barbados many times and would say I feel safe there but I was trying to get other people's take on it due to things I'd been told by Bajans when I was over there.

Linda

zanne Aug 3rd 2008 2:48 am

Re: violent crime in Barbados
 
I must add to this discussion that our house was recently burgled, the burglar went to an awful lot of trouble to steal $150.00 and some change; they ignored or didn't want anything else in our house and let themselves out our front gate, all while we were sleeping. It is the most puzzling thing they passed up on many small/portable things that could easily be taken and easily sold, they even searched through my sons backpack, presumably looking for change, we are more conscientious now though. All of the windows locked up tight at night, and attack cats on watch! JK!


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