A travel advisory has been issued by Canada this week for the island nation southeast of Florida following a spike in crime and at least 18 killings in the new year.
“Exercise a high degree of caution in the Bahamas due to high rates of crime, especially in Freeport and Nassau,” the government said in an online update.
The most common crimes include armed robberies, burglaries, purse snatchings, theft, fraud and sexual assaults.
The advisory also states cruise ship terminals and popular resort areas are also robbery targets, which increases during the holidays.
“Avoid Nassau’s “over the hill” (south of Shirley Street) and Fish Fry (Arawak Cay) areas, especially at night,” the advisory said.
This follows a recently updated U.S. travel advisory which warned Americans to “exercise increased caution” after a security alert was issued by the American embassy.
“The U.S. Embassy in Nassau advises U.S. citizens to be aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024,” the security alert said. “Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.”
A 19th reported killing occurred over the weekend.
According to local authorities, four deaths involved gangs, two were drug related, while conflict or retaliatory killings resulted in nine deaths.
No foreigners were among the victims.
“We have a good grip on all of the matters,” Royal Bahamas Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander told The Nassau Guardian.
“We want to prevent these matters from happening.”