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Is Antigua really now a hotbed of gun crime?

(14 Posts)
anotherdayyetanothernickname Fri 01-Aug-08 15:19:41

Really shocked by the shooting of the honeymooning newlyweds. How utterly horrific.

Is Antigua really a hotbed of crime now then? That's the way the media have portrayed it in the last few days and the stats support this to an extent.

It's so sad as it used to feel very safe - like you didn't have to worry about anything really.

Am going in the Autumn with ds and don't want to be freaking out about intruders. Should we be worried?

MarsLady Fri 01-Aug-08 15:27:31

No I don't think that it is. My sister goes there regularly and is there now.

Remember the british press have a certain way of portraying things.

How many places are as "safe" as we would ideally like them to be?

newpup Fri 01-Aug-08 16:32:46

My parents have been to Antigua and not wishing to alarm you, they found it a little unsafe. They said the only way to remain safe was to stay in the hotel compound and not to leave. There were several muggings and knife crimes whilst they were there. However, we went to the Bahamas years ago and it was the same there to be honest. There is a huge gap in the living standards between tourists and locals and it would be far to say that some of the locals consider tourists fair game! Having said that awful things happen everywhere, plenty here in the U.K. I would just stick to tourist areas and make sure your accommodation is secure and safe and insist on moving if it isn't. Lock doors and windows at night as you would at home. I am sure that security will be stepped up as the Antiguans rely heavily on the tourist trade for their livelihood. I am sure you will be fine.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Fri 01-Aug-08 18:18:22

That's so sad - it used to feel really safe there. We went to the Sunday 'Jump-up' a couple of times and even there - it's like a public party - we never really felt threatened.
Definitely wouldn't go there now.
Yes I agree, the resorts will be stepping up security. The one we are going to is very secluded though - a bit worrying.

sophiewd Fri 01-Aug-08 18:22:53

We are going there in November, a friend of mine who is in the army said that now it will probably be safe as they will have beefed up security etc so that tourists still come over.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Fri 01-Aug-08 19:05:11

We're going in November too - see you on the plane lol.

slinkiemalinki Mon 11-Aug-08 12:59:40

I went to Carlisle Bay last April and it was fantastic - though didn't leave the resort to be honest, we arranged transfer through hotel, never felt threatened.

alvinandthechipmunks Tue 12-Aug-08 08:48:12

That's where we're going Slinkie - I cannot wait! I've been to the island twice before and given we are taking ds and he isn't yet partial to sightseeing, we too will probably just hang out and relax in the resort.

How long were the transfers from the airport?

ForeverOptimistic Tue 12-Aug-08 09:22:25

I'm sure Antigua has its problems just like 99% of the world. My friends mother has recently sold her house in Grenada after 25 years living out there because she said that there is an underlying tension that she has not felt before. Their house has been burgled on a number of occasions and the last few times the burglers have carried guns and been more aggressive.

The type of holiday where you stay in a hotel compound does not appeal to me in the slightest. I would rather go to Thailand or Indonesia where you can explore the local area. In places like Asia most tourists contribute towards the local economy by spending their money in the village restaurants and bars, because they interact with the locals the locals have a vested interest in keeping tourists safe. Perhaps in places like Antigua where it is less common for locals to interact with the tourists they see foreign tourists as "fair game" because they never get to know them as they coop themselves up in hotel compounds spending sometimes spending the equivalent of a local's annual salary on one nights accommodation! I'm not saying that this in any way justifies crime against tourists but it is easier to commit offenses against `faceless` individuals iyswim. My friend recently returned from Jamaica and didn't leave her hotel compound for the whole two weeks! Apparantly most tourists don't. That would be unheard of in South East Asia.

alvinandthechipmunks Tue 12-Aug-08 15:04:39

Forever I didn't really want to be made to feel bad and that we are socially irresponsible for going on a resort-based holiday. Yes in an ideal world we'd all go places where we mingled with the local community and spent our money directly with them but heck once in a while it's ok to do this sort of holiday too.

ForeverOptimistic Tue 12-Aug-08 17:49:45

Sorry, I wasn't trying to make you feel bad honestly! I have done that type of holiday too. If I wanted out a crash out at the beach type of holiday where you just stay at the resort I would go to Greece, a lot cheaper and nearer.

I wasn't having a go, I don't actually think there is anything wrong in having that type of holiday I just couldn't be bothered in going all that way for a beach holiday. I am not saying it is socially irresponsible to go on this type of holiday, after all the resort hotel employ people from the local community, I was just trying to make a point that a minority of people from these communities may not have a great perception of foreign tourists because they don't actually get to see them! This type of holiday where people don't venture outside the resort seems to be unique to the carribean Islands and perhaps the Maldives where logistically it would not be possible to pop down to the local village even if you wanted to!

SNoraWotzThat Tue 12-Aug-08 18:38:01

Forever I disagree that one place is better/safer than the other. There are statistics, which you can goolge, of course, but nowhere is 100% safe. It is a tourist choice to venture outside of a hotel or resort and by doing so you are helping the local community. By staying in the resort you are helping too, as the resorts employ and give training to 1,000's of local staff, right down to mechanics and electricians.
However, hotels that only offer all inclusive board basis are where tourists tend to decide to stay put. Jamaican resorts invented this idea TBH (it also has the highest crime rate in the region) and this ethos of staying put, is not the same through the rest of the Caribbean.

Anotherday - I would not be concerned about your forthcoming trip. My advice is to always take the same precautions as you do at home. Also please read the fco.gov website for more details. That goes for anywhere. Anotherdayyetanothernickname you can mail me if you want to at wispywotz at yahoo dot co dot uk and I will tell you of my happy and memorable experiences.

slinkiemalinki Tue 12-Aug-08 23:16:26

Well put SNora. I'm glad you beat me to it because you put it a lot more nicely than I would have!
FWIW, there are plenty of resorts in SE Asia eg Bali, Langkawi etc where some guests do not venture outside the resort. A lot of them are very high-end places. People go for the location and service and experience, to relax and be pampered in privacy. It's not unheard of by any means in any place!
alvina - I recall the transfer time was about 45 minutes but could be wrong. The resort is great - extremely safe - people appeared to be leaving their sleeping children in rooms which surprised us (and unthinkable these days but you could see them with baby monitors at dinner) - we took our sleeping DD (nearly 1 then) to dinner in the buggy every night and they were fine about that in both restaurants!
Have a lovely time.

ezmi Wed 13-Aug-08 17:19:36

hi i have livedin barbados for 15 years and regularly travelled to other islands, i would not agree atigua is usafe, if anything england has a higher rate of crime with the constant teenage stabbing here it is very rare to hear of that in the caribbean

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