Crime concerns for ...
 
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Crime concerns for move

 
tcasey1978
(@tcasey1978)
Active Member

First we appreciate all the answers to the posts that we have listed. All of your advice has been well received and helpful from all. We have heard from everyone that we should do searches for questions that we have concerns about. That being said, the crime issue keeps coming up and in a very negative light. To speak more clearly it sounds very scary to live there. I don't want my family to live in fear from the following issues that I've read about the crime. Being broken into multiple times, running into intruders in the middle of the night, not being able to go the beach because your car will be broken into, don't leave your boat unattended or it may be stolen or broke into, muggings, thefts, murder, etc. I've done the searches and I have to say that it puts living there in a negative light. To be frank it scares us.

Being a police officer, my family and I live more tactically sound than most, but it seems like that may not matter due to the frequency of crime there.

Please feel free to let us know the truth. Is it really this bad? Can you live there without your house broken into (possibly in gated community). We desperately would like to know if it is this bad or can you live there safely?

We researched the internet and found that there have been over 100 uses of deadly force by the VIPD. Being a police officer, this is astounding to me. Please give us advice on this, as it it very worrying for us.

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Topic starter Posted : July 6, 2010 12:03 am
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member

Crime is a problem here. However it is not an overriding problem. Imagine a small island with 40,000 people and most of them are on welfare and many live in government housing. That is where most of the crime, particularly violent crime is found. However, because this is such a small island it eventually touches almost everyone. Yes, there are safe places to live on the island, and yes the police are being slowly dragged into the the 21st century.

I am much more aware of crime and bad guys when I am on St Croix than I am while in any small (50k to 100K pop) California town. That is the bad part about living in the islands. All of that being said, I have never been robbed, threatened or broken in to, but I know many people who have been.

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Posted : July 6, 2010 3:02 am
tcasey1978
(@tcasey1978)
Active Member

stxer - Thanks this is a big decision for us. My wife is trying to decide whether or not to accept a good government job there and I'm a cop considering a transfer there. I generally am able to adapt anywhere I go. I travel throughout the Caribbean as well as my family. We love the island lifestyle and are always sad when we come back from our trips. After reading the numerous posts concerning crime it makes it sound more like Somalia, not the Virgin Islands. Talk of AK 47's, etc.

We know that we would have to be aware of our surroundings, I just want to make sure that my wife isn't going to get mugged or robbed when she goes to the supermarket and I don't want to get my car broke into every time we go to the beach. If I go scuba diving in a boat, I don't want to come up and realize that my boat has been stolen. This is how all the posts I have read make it sound. If you've lived there for a while, please give me straight talk on these concerns. We're looking at living on STT and wondering where the best area with the lowest crime rate would be.

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Topic starter Posted : July 6, 2010 4:29 am
StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member

We complain because we care.
I've been here nearly 7 years and have never felt unsafe, in part, because I'm not stupid about where I go, when I go there, and what I bring. Take reasonable precautions and you'll be fine.

And thanks for considering becoming part of the police force here. There are many fine people in the VIPD who will appreciate your professionalism and training. Will you have a cultural adjustment? Will some people view you as an outsider. Yes. But count it as part of your adventure and continuing education. Life's a journey.

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Posted : July 6, 2010 11:47 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I agree with stxer. My husband and I are a 60 ish, continental couple. We have lived here (STT and STX combined) 15 years, and we come and go as we please, without fear. Sometimes we are very selective about where we go, though.

There is nothing wrong with your plan for relocating and your wife taking a government job. However, before accepting a position on the VIPD, my advice would be to seek out other continental officers who have tried to make a go of it here. I don't know how you would go about finding them, but worth the effort to hear what they have to say. I'm thinking they will tell you to run, not walk, away from the idea. I don't have any insider information, just have talked to several officers with really unsettling stories. Good luck with your plans.

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Posted : July 6, 2010 11:59 am
Native Son
(@Native_Son)
Advanced Member

Crime is a problem here. However it is not an overriding problem. Imagine a small island with 40,000 people and most of them are on welfare and many live in government housing. That is where most of the crime, particularly violent crime is found. However, because this is such a small island it eventually touches almost everyone. Yes, there are safe places to live on the island, and yes the police are being slowly dragged into the the 21st century.

I am much more aware of crime and bad guys when I am on St Croix than I am while in any small (50k to 100K pop) California town. That is the bad part about living in the islands. All of that being said, I have never been robbed, threatened or broken in to, but I know many people who have been.

I beg your pardon, but most of us are NOT on welfare. Most of us work hard for a living.

There are a whole lot of people living on St. Croix who can afford to live anywhere on the planet, and they choose to be here. The vast majority of people here go about their daily lives without thinking much about crime...we have other concerns such as paying our bills, fighting with WAPA, taking care of our elderly, and all of the other mundane things one does on a daily basis. There are a lot of people here who work their butts off every single day, for example all those guys at the refinery working 12 and 16-hour shifts.

Do not make crime your over-riding concern. Yes, there are murders here, but for the most part they are perpetrated by one wanna-be gang-banger against another, or due to domestic violence. Peter Des Jardin, my good friend, was of course an exception.

You have to watch what you do, and where you do it. There is an ignorant subset of individuals here who may tend to target establishments which they perceive to be exclusionary. I am trying to be politically correct here. You may find that it is "safer" to patronize establishments that are perceived as being more "local"...again, do not take my opinion as is, but check to see the instances of robberies of "local" restaurants such as Harvey's, Top Hat, 2+2, Kendrick's, etc, vs places that may be perceived as "exclusionary".
"Frontline" restaurant/nightclub has big, raucous parties every weekend with no issues, except (LOL) possible noise statute violations.

My advice, then, is to be observant, and to try to integrate yourself into the community as much as possible. If you decide to patronize an establishment, ask yourself if the establishment may appear to be exclusionary to an outside observer. Again, I say these things in an attempt to be as PC as possible, but there are underlying issues here that cause things to happen and most people will refuse to speak about those issues. One of those underlying issues is that locals do not like to feel that they are being sidelined. Most people will shrug it off, but that ignorant subset I mentioned earlier, egged on by their "misleaders", might be a bit more thin-skinned.

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Posted : July 6, 2010 4:01 pm
A Davis
(@A_Davis)
Trusted Member

not sure when people on welfare became associated with criminality. i have never seen the inside of a jail cell. i guess that's in the "what do you expect?" department.

i have not been a victim of violent crime by a stranger here, although my home has been broken into and my car vandalized on some different occasions. sad to say it, but most of the crime here is among people who know each other... although occasionally when people fail to have enough self-restraint to take the argument elsewhere, they end up erupting in the midst of innocent bystanders.

while we are on the subject of crime, so-called white collar crime has apparently been flourishing here as well, under cover of smoke-filled rooms... these criminals are just as bad as any, and i hope that those who are responsible for the continued plunder of this society and territory are made to own up to and atone for their transgressions.

i'm off the soapbox... at least for now!

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Posted : July 6, 2010 10:36 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

ADavis,

As usual, agreed. I've not been a victim of any crime beyond a hit and run which could happen anywhere. I don't go places which don't make sense at night. I don't wear flashy jewelry in areas where the jewelry would rate a second glance. I am careful. No more so than in any other suburban setting. I have dogs. Is there crime on STT? Oh yes, but rarely by random strangers although the burglaries in STX do seem to be escalating.

White collar crime - the government, Ponzi schemes, running realtors and Laddie Woods - all probably because they believe and rightly so that the local government is not going to get involved. Grab the money and run. You are fine unless the Feds get involved.

I read my hometown newspaper. Is it worse here? Not really. The only difference seems to be our government doesn't care if we know they are crooked. The rest of the crime is about the same.

All in all, I am still in paradise.

Pamela

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Posted : July 6, 2010 11:28 pm
MistB'Haven
(@MistB'Haven)
Advanced Member

I am liking this thread. This is what I have been waiting to hear from this forum. It seems to tend toward the negative. I don't want to only hear about "massages, pedicures and meals", but I do want to hear positive thoughts from the people who live here. I was worried before my visit in April, and yet did not have any of this experience while on island. I have lived in several large cities, and St. Louis is one of the worst for crime, but people don't spend so much time and energy focusing on the bad. Maybe a shift in thinking to the good things are in order. Just my opinion.

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Posted : July 7, 2010 3:23 am
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

My wife is trying to decide whether or not to accept a good government job there...

Take it! 🙂

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Posted : July 7, 2010 10:29 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

When you have an environment where "little" infractions are overlooked- stop lights, jaywalking, double parking, gun possession by convicted felons- the ante keeps increasing. Some people feel "Hey, everyone else does it, so it is okay for me, too!! Wink, wink!" and that is the basis for a great deal of the trouble. There is a reason that civilizations have developed the rule of law. The Broken Window theory works.

Off *my* soapbox, too!

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Posted : July 7, 2010 12:03 pm
rhstoo
(@rhstoo)
Advanced Member

Interesting point. The other half of the "Broken Window" theory is that if you fix the broken windows and put some paint on the doors, etc. everything will improve because people will have more pride in where they are. I'm not suggesting there isn't pride in all, just in some. And I know saying is much easier than doing and that money is scarce. But it might help to spend as much time lobbying for more money from the economic stimulus package as for more police stations. My two cents...

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Posted : July 7, 2010 2:05 pm
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