A Final Word On Crime
Good day everyone- I am planning a move to STT from Portland, OR in July. How dangerous is it really? I am getting mixed info about things such as, don't dare walk around after dark. Is this the case? For instance, from the Villa Fairview, which is a 10 minute walk to town, they say to take a cab, don't walk. If I don't have a car will I be at a risk everyday. I'm 6'5" and my friend is 6'4". I've been to the Carribean a couple of times and understand the impoverished nature of the islands. But crime against tourists, or people with money, discourages tourism and their source of income, right? Anyhow, just looking for info as to how "ghetto" Charlotte Amalie really is- Thanks
When I first moved here I lived at Crystal Palace in town and often walked back and forth from work in Frenchtown without any problems. I'm not saying it's entirely safe, but where is? I didn't walk alone late at night, but often just with another woman, but usually there were a few people walking together. If you aren't looking for trouble, chances are it probably won't find you.
this island is a safe and as dangerous as "anycity" usa... there are better and worse parts of the island. i have lived there in the past and never had any trouble. i do own a home there and recently brought my wife and kids (3,5,and7)...i wouldent ever put them in harms way. i live in atalntic city nj and there are lots of places here i wouldent go either before or after dark. common sense is the key to safety. if i were you i would be more concerned w/ hurricanes.
The following is presented IMHO......
What I have been reading here about crime concerns me.
What concerns me is not that crime exists in the VI's (or anywhere else for that matter), but that people seem to try to ignore that it exists. Statements such as "this island is as safe and as dangerous as "anycity" usa" (lip, forgive me, I'm not singling you out...just using this as an example) just allows the problem to continue, because no one does anything about it. The feeling is "well I guess it's there and we'll just have to live with it". Because of that "mind set" the situation (crime) remains "status quo".
I was taken back by the board posting about the two stolen cars recently on STX....what concerns me is that apparently little is being done to resolve the crime or worse prevent it from happening again. Only when the people begin to voice their concerns and act on them will crime stop. Yes, I said stop.
I was born and raised in Newark, NJ...I lived through the racial rioting there in the mid 1960's...it was terrible....people being shot (killed) and property burned to the ground...thousands being left homeless.....but not in my neighborhood...we would not let that happen! I currently live in a community of over 75,000 in NJ....we have the honor of being the 2nd safest city in the US for 3 years now....this isn't by chance. Yes, you can walk the streets at night in my town.
Just my 2 cents.
I understand what you are saying completely. I don't live in the islands yet, but I think what the residents are trying to say is....
(feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)
Be careful of your surroundings always no matter where you are.
I also understand where they are coming from because I also am from a small island and ANY news is BIG news to report about.
You see, it's not like the states where mostly big news is reported.
Things like stolen cars, break ins, drugs, etc. are most likely happening all around you and you just don't hear of it often because of how large the area is in which you live.
You can't escape crime it's everywhere, just be careful. I hope this helps you with your move to the islands.
Future Islander, I would like to hear you express the same opinions after you become a current islander for a year or more. I challenge you to come on down and change things around. Make them as efficient as the states. The West Indian culture is not disposed to schedules and efficiency, and the West Indians are in control here. Please be aware, before you move, that things don't work here like they do in the states, and that you're probably not going to change things. If you come with a different attitude, things are going to be tough for you. The advice of a 5-year resident, FWIW.
My intent was not start an argument......
My concern is complacency.....with crime, anywhere.
FYI...don't go by my screen name....we already own there, although we don't live there year round.
Your challenge???? Why are you waiting for me to do something? You've been there for 5 years.
The subject wasn't efficiency or culture. The subject is crime.
Also, I like that things are different in the Islands. I'm not looking to change things, except complacency to crime.
"The West Indians are in charge"...why is there an "us" and a "them".
But......my town has 2 "Town" newspapers so everything gets reported........sorry...not much (major) crime......just the occasional mail box jokes by teenagers, the occasional drug possession arrest and of course the DUI arrests. There have been some "break-ins" to cars at the shopping malls, but they are few and far between. Not what I would call serious crimes. I've lived here for 30 years and don't know of anyone ever having their house broken into.
I'm sorry....I'm getting off the track.....I've been participating on this board for over 2 years and these threads of "Island Crime" keep popping up again and again.......what my point is....do something about it.
The islands are really a nice place to go to....we love it there. We like the culture, the weather and the people we've met.
FI - Neither is it my intent to flame you or start an argument. I have just seen too many people come to the islands with the expectation that things will work like they did back in the states, or that they can change them if they don't. Then they leave, instead of becoming good citizens that can contribute to the welfare of the whole. In the meantime they lose a lot of money and their dreams. I am having one of those days today, and would just rather see people consider the differences in attitudes and cultures, and make an informed decision. Probably the best idea is to rent for six months with all escape hatches wide open, then decide whether you want to stay or not.
As far as why is there an "us" and a "them" - you're preaching to the choir. I don't know the answer.
Good luck to you.
I made a post in the previous thread regarding crime. As much as the fear of a home invasion crime is important, the real problem that I was trying to point to was the lack of response by the police.
This thread says much about attitudes and points to the reasons that certain situations exist.
It is (in my opinion) a fact that we have a problem in the USVI with police training and attitude. Examine all the past conversations on this web site, articles from the Source, Avis and Daily News and you might see that the real problem is not crime, but the police response to crime. This in many ways is also a reflection of the corruption and incompetence of the Virgin Island Government.
There are those who say it is a "them vs us" situation and it is hard to argue against that premise. Many long time Virgin Islanders are alarmed by the "influx" of immigrants from the states.
This is a beautiful place to be. Let's try to keep it beautiful for everyone.
You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Yes, crime is a problem here. There are car-jackings, burglaries, rapes, murders, etc., and when you look at the per capita figures it is alarming. Crimes often go unreported because of fear of retribution, and a lot of thefts go unreported because the adults don't ask questions when their kids bring items into the house that they obviously didn't purchase. The crime stems from deep-rooted societal problems which nobody is willing to solve.
This place has a brain drain. A lot of the young men who ultimately become good citizens leave the islands. The ones who are left are often the problem children. Yes, I single out young men of color. Look at the recent UVI graduation class...predominantly female. Where are the young men? Raising pit bulls, racing cars, playing ball, fighting, acting like thugs...not all, of course, but enough to be a problem. I commend and respect the ones who live a positive life and try to make a difference and be a good example. There are too few of you.
Unless there is a concerted effort to make decent human beings out of the young men here, starting early, you will always have the crime problem.
In the meantime, watch yourself, secure your home and your car, stay away from large local gatherings where the young men will invariably bring guns (too easily available), get a good watchdog that won't eat from strangers (they'll poison it), and make yourself as nondescript as possible.
It's a beautiful place with too many ugly young men.
You've identified a problem and provided a solution.
Now, what do WE need to do to make it happen?
"You've identified a problem and provided a solution.
Now, what do WE need to do to make it happen? "
Lobby for the institution of legislation for:
* Mandatory parenting classes.
* Holding parents accountable for the misbehavior of minors, to include jail time.
* Doing like Puerto Rico did a few years ago...have the Guard blockade problem communities and do house-to-house searches for illegal firearms.
* Randomly stop and search all vehicles.
* Stop and question anyone seen walking a pit bull....LOL 🙂
* Anyone caught littering gets to pick up trash from 5 miles of roadway on a Saturday...bags provided by law enforcement.
* All young people required to do 18 months of community service before they can get a driver's license...clean beaches, feed homeless, pick up trash, etc.
* Legal drinking age raised to 21...there is no draft, don't use that argument about military service...you can drink if you join the military.
* No days off during the school year...you can party after you graduate.
...and other measures designed to rein in the youth and instill in them a sense of duty, pride, and respect for themselves and their elders.
Ever happen? No
Crime decrease? No
As STXR pointed out, police corruption seems to be a very widespread problem here in the VIs. Cleaning up that problem would no doubt help greatly.
Does your draconian suggestions apply to the US mainland as well?
"As STXR pointed out, police corruption seems to be a very widespread problem here in the VIs. Cleaning up that problem would no doubt help greatly.
The police are often no more than thugs with a badge and a gun. Some of them act like the general law-abiding public is their enemy, not the obvious habitual offenders.
The police come from the same neighborhoods as the criminals. This is a small community. The police force should be recruited off-island. Any gang activity should be ruthlessly dealt with. There should be no gangs operating in the territory. The cops all know who the gang members are.
Does your draconian suggestions apply to the US mainland as well?
Yes...any place that can enact legislation that would encourage young people to develop a sense of duty and respect should do so.
Eighteen months of service is a small price to pay.
People who litter should be made to pick up trash.
Parents who do not supervise their children should suffer along with the victims of their childrens' actions.
Illegal firearms should be removed from communities by any means necessary....and so on.
You can walk the streets anytime of the day or night in Singapore. Nobody would dare to attack you, they know the consequences. If you traffic in illegal drugs, they will hang you.
We say it's a free country here...well, when people use that freedom to attack, rape, kill, rob, etc they should lose the freedom. They have not earned it, nor do they respect it.
FYI, the Patriot Act II is much more draconian than anything I suggested. Witness the current wire-tapping furor. You'd be amazed at the rights we've already lost.
Not having been there yet, and somewhat radical in thinking, I wonder if this might be an idea? Along the lines of "If ya can't beat em - join em". And the assumption that the bad guys are connected to the men in blue.
What if several people formed a "group" for lack of a better term, ans set up a bank account in which they all made regular deposits. The monthly money could be used to help with personal police problems, in which the local constable would make the group aware of. Let's say, one of the cops needed a down payment for a car, some assistance with money for a graduation party for his child, financial help for taking a much needed vacation, etc. etc. The cops would be made aware of the amount of money available, and actually they could decide among them selves how it would be dispersed. I have no details, just a thought out of the blue - it would take a lot of thought.
The list of people on the group would be posted on a regular basis to the men in blue. I wonder if the men in blue would make it clear to the bad guys that if anyone one the list is targeted, that their would be dire consequences?
Payola? Paying for protections? You bet it is - but it is out in the open for everyone to see. But as first mentioned, "if ya can't beat em".
It would be worth it to me to buy the insurance.
You pointed out one problem.....
"This place has a brain drain. A lot of the young men who ultimately become good citizens leave the islands. The ones who are left are often the problem children."
You offered a solution.....
"Unless there is a concerted effort to make decent human beings out of the young men here, starting early, you will always have the crime problem."
Please let's stick with one problem at a time.
How do WE incorporate your solution?
The cops could still get their payoffs from the bad guys - or take care of their own so to speak - whatever the situation is, but could also get "payoffs" from another segment of the population.
I know before you post that this should not have to be done and in some minds it might be morally reprehensible - but if it could work, where it seems traditional methods do not - and nobody expects the situation to change in the near future ....... might be an idea. We are planning to migrate sometime this year, and I'd like to see some sort of action put in place prior.
Hasn't that 'group' already been identified? I thought they were taxpaying citizens who thought their taxes already provided such services.
I did some research, and here's MY TWO CENTS:
Corruption scandals involving high officials have rocked governments in different parts of the world, including the VI, further undermining citizen confidence. Besides losing faith in the ABILITY of governments to curb crime, people are now questioning their DETERMINATION to do so. An educator asked: “How could these authorities now combat crime when they themselves are neck-deep in the mire?”
Governments (including the officials in them) come and governments go, but crime remains.
Sad but true are the words of The New Encyclopædia Britannica: “Increasing crime appears to be a feature of all modern industrialized societies, and no developments in law or penology can be shown to have had a significant impact on the problem. . . . For modern urbanized society, in which economic growth and personal success are dominant values, there is no reason to suppose that crime rates will not continue to increase.”
“Crime could be controlled overnight if everyone was prepared to make the effort,” a former head of the Metropolitan Police was quoted as saying in England’s Liverpool Daily Post. If everyone obeyed the law, crime would disappear.
To make everyone WILLINGLY obey the law would solve the crime problem. The reality is that the scope is beyond what even those with the best intentions are capable of accomplishing. Achieving this on a worldwide scale will involve the greatest governmental upheaval in history
No individual government is capable of doing this. J. Vaskovich, a law teacher in Ukraine, suggests the need for “a common capable body, which would unify and coordinate the efforts of all state and public organizations.” And President Fidel Ramos of the Philippines stated at a world conference on crime: “Because modernization has made our world smaller, crime has managed to cross national boundaries and has developed into a transnational problem. It follows that solutions should likewise be transnational.”
Here are some quotes concerning the international scope of crime:
The book The United Nations and Crime Prevention notes: “Domestic crime has outstripped the control of most individual nations and transnational crime has accelerated far beyond the current reach of the international community. . . . Crime by organized criminal groups has expanded to alarming proportions, with particularly serious consequences in terms of physical violence, intimidation and corruption of public officials. Terrorism has claimed tens of thousands of innocent victims. Predatory trafficking in addictive narcotics has become a world-wide tragedy.”
BRAZIL: “In reaction to a mounting wave of violence, hundreds of thousands of people filled the downtown streets [of Rio de Janeiro], expressing fear and anger over crime that has made a captive of their city.”—International Herald Tribune.
CHINA: “Gangsters are staging a comeback in China and major crime seems out of control. . . . Chinese experts say the number of gangs and ‘secret societies’ are growing faster than the police can count them.”—The New York Times.
GERMANY: “The gap between readiness to resort to violence and the occasion that prompts one to do so has grown steadily narrower. So it is hardly surprising that violence has become an everyday occurrence.”—Rheinischer Merkur.
GREAT BRITAIN: “The threshold of violence has gone up and there’s an increasing likelihood the offender will use violence as a first resort.”—The Independent.
IRELAND: “Mafia-style criminal families have taken root in inner Dublin and in its poorer western suburbs. The gangs are increasingly well-armed.”—The Economist.
MEXICO: “Crime has risen so fast in such a short period of time that it is alarming.”—The Wall Street Journal.
NIGERIA: “The family unit, churches, mosques, schools and clubs have failed in their duty of preventing youths from crime, according to police spokesman, Mr. Frank Odita.”—Daily Champion.
PHILIPPINES: “Six of every ten families in the Philippines say they don’t feel safe in their homes or on the streets.”—Asiaweek.
RUSSIA: “Mafia-like gangs have transformed a city that in Soviet days was one of the safest in the world into a virtual criminopolis. . . . ‘In my 17 years on patrol,’ says police lieutenant Gennadi Groshikov, ‘I have never seen so much crime in Moscow, nor have I seen anything as vicious.’”—Time.
SOUTH AFRICA: “Unbridled and virtually uncontrolled violence is threatening every one of us, and everything we do—and something radical must be done.”—The Star.
TAIWAN: “In Taiwan . . . rising rates of robbery, assault and murder have trickled into society . . . Indeed, crime rates are creeping up and in some cases surpassing those in Western countries.”—The New York Times.
UNITED STATES: “The U.S. is the most violent nation in the industrialized world. . . . No other industrialized nation comes close.”—Time.
I'm curious as how any of the solutions proffered ont his board suppose to remedy the crime in the VI, much less such a global situation? They appear quite impotent.
Another thing that would help would be to make it easier for law abiding citizens to have guns for protection. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Yep, you are spot on. But, and looking at your research, it is not working. So - and again I want to say that not being there limits my view of local reality.
I guess is what I am trying to say in a nutshell, is that maybe it is best to align ones self with the winning team? If the bad guys are the winning team, why fight something you -- it appears - is a fight you cannot win?
Does not mean we can't continue the long term efforts to effect change - but in the meantime - let those that can afford the dollars and loss of ideals - find a way to have a safe environment for themselves.
Yes, I agree, it may be immoral - and you are in effect "double paying" for the same level of protection. If you can buy your personal safety, and it works, then the price, in my opinion, in dollars and loss of altruistic beliefs is worth the price of admission.
I could go on and on about how life was lived in a small town in the redneck Midwest many years ago. How local people did not put up with bad guys and took things into their own hands - problem solved - lesson learned by the bad guys. But today, we are so limited with gun laws, and laws protecting the bad guys, that it seems to me that since our laws protect them so much, it may be better to align with them and pay them to leave us alone, rather than depend on the "system" to protect us from those the system strives so hard to protect the civil liberties the bad guys know they are now "entitled" to.
Personally, I'd prefer that everyone be issued a hand/long gun, be trained on how to use it, change the laws protecting the bad guys, and tell them to bring it on. Bad guys are cowards. If they know the opposition is armed, and superior, they will not even try.
But, those days are long gone. Time to maybe join up with the bad guys, as all the laws, and a lot of law enforcement, is on their side. I am just talking about reality of current conditions, and how to best cope with things we are faced with / have some control over.
I meant this to be a quick answer. Sorry.
Are you insane? Would you lobby for such changes in your home town?