Tourists are advised to “consider travel” due to “violence and
3 mins read

Tourists are advised to “consider travel” due to “violence and

Tourists are advised to “consider travel” due to “violence and

The US State Department has joined the UK Foreign Office in warning tourists against visiting the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Some 30,000 British tourists visit the tropical destination each year.

The British Foreign Office issued a warning late last week. The US State Department now says: “Consider travel to Trinidad and Tobago due to crime. Exercise extra caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to terrorism and kidnapping. Some areas are at higher risk.

“US Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the following areas in Port of Spain: Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of the Queens’ Park Savannah. After dark, US Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George Lookout, and all beaches. Violence and shootings regularly occur in certain areas of Port of Spain.

“Violent crimes such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion and kidnapping are common.”

They added: “Gang activity, such as drug dealing, is widespread. A significant proportion of violent crime is gang-related.

“Terrorists can attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist sites, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports and other public places.”

The British Foreign Office said: “Violent crime is high in Trinidad, with gang attacks and shootings increasing in central Port-of-Spain, including Laventille, Morvant and Barataria.

“There is a risk of armed robbery. You can reduce the risk of being targeted when you are on foot by: avoiding unlit areas at night and using well-populated roads and paths.”

For taxis, the advice is: “Criminals often carry out attacks in vehicles, ranging from threats of violence to sexual assault and robbery, kidnapping for ransom, rape and murder. You can take precautions to avoid becoming a target by:

  • using the services of reputable taxi companies, recommended by locals or the hotel

  • be careful when accepting a ride in a private car or “maxi taxi”

  • using local advice to avoid areas affected by gang violence

  • “keeping windows closed and doors locked while driving”

If you’re staying at a villa, especially one in an isolated location, officials warn that it should have adequate security measures, including outdoor security lighting, barbecues and night guards. They added: “Withdrawing cash from an ATM or exchanging money could make you a target for pickpockets or muggers. Consider asking hotel or villa staff to drive you there. Keep money, valuables and passports safe and never leave anything unattended in a vehicle.”

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