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highest Crimes rates in the Caribbean according to Frommers 2008

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Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Stxem suburbs now days are their own cities and have their own stats. Major citys are too big now days to include the burbs. Trust me the burbs do not want the city in their stats to mess up their rankings (like school rankings etc..) So we are comparing apples with apples.

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Posted : July 27, 2008 5:57 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Why, then, do we put up with it?

What do you suggest??? Vigilantes? Batman? DC has terrible crime & it's the seat of the US government so the Feds can't fix it if they can't clean up their own back yard.

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Posted : July 27, 2008 8:51 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Why, then, do we put up with it?

What do you suggest??? Vigilantes? Batman? DC has terrible crime & it's the seat of the US government so the Feds can't fix it if they can't clean up their own back yard.

Stop reporting crime, that would do it.

Seriously,
Stats can be compiled and read so many different ways. Comparing StX to Los Angeles, NYC, or Columbus Oh is pretty ridiculous.

What you would have to do is find "apples to apples." ie....You need to find another island with a similar demographic breakdown, similar culture with similar economics, etc. to know whether USVI crime is above or below the mean for other similar cohorts. I'd bet the Caymans don't match up the USVI in those terms. I'd also want to know the history of attitudes towards crime in an area. And I'd want to know how much MONEY is spent on law enforcement in those areas.

Last but not least, if you've read the NYT bestseller "FREAKANOMICS" you know the answer to crime trends. It mashes the crime stats with abortion stats and makes the astonishing conclusion (which was widely reported and supported) that crime stats rise when unwed mothers have babies, and drop when abortion is widely available, practiced and culturally acceptable. (no debate on the ethics, please, it's just a statistics thing). Thus, it would be interesting to find out if there is a cultural thing about some island populations/ethnic/racial/healthcare availability set of factors that skews the crime rates. I'd bet money on it.

I know these issues of $$ spent and unwed mothers doesn't stop burglary in your neighborhood, but at least attempts to understand the nature of the problem instead of just painting cops as bad and politicians as on the take.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 2:53 am
terry
(@terry)
Expert

I'm staying away from the abortion vs crime rate.
However, comparing the crime rate only with another small island would probably be ok, but not what people want to know.
many people want to know how is it where they are thinking about moving. I have not seen many post where people were trying to decide which island to move to ( not counting STT vs STx vs STJ). They want comparisons to where they are or other places in the US.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 3:24 am
antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
Advanced Member

What do I suggest? A multi-pronged approach.
Letter writing to senators asking them to "get rid of the crime problem and telling them that we are watching for results: the elections are near.
Phone calls to the Police commissioner--We are tired of the violent crime and want you to clean up the streets. Secondly, ask what you can do to help them.
Development of Neighborhood watch
Working with senators and police to loosen the concealed carry laws
Phone calls to the judges who consistently let everyone go and letting them know that this is not the way to decrease crime. Tell them we want criminals to be sentenced
Deporting illegal aliens

Second approach
Get out there and pick up the trash
join community efforts to teach kids there is more fun in sports, plays, art, business classes, education, you name it, but get involved
Meet your neighbors
Report suspicious activity and follow up
Mentor a child....or several
This is all just off the top of my head, but it's a start

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Posted : July 28, 2008 11:16 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I'm staying away from the abortion vs crime rate.

However, comparing the crime rate only with another small island would probably be ok, but not what people want to know.
many people want to know how is it where they are thinking about moving. I have not seen many post where people were trying to decide which island to move to ( not counting STT vs STx vs STJ). They want comparisons to where they are or other places in the US.

I don't blame you 😉

And I understand people want to compare it to where they're coming from, -but doesn't it bother you that SOME people come onto this board and act surprised or wag their heads that the Carribean has a higher crime rate than their whitebread suburban hometown?

(And to be honest, I also find it a crime that someone would post on a message board "I'm thinking about moving to STT, how's the crime rate down there?" If they're not willing to READ is this really someone you want to encourage to become your neighbor? 😮 ((Ranks right up there with "I'm graduating from college, got no money and want to wait tables at a beach bar, can I live on $20,000 a year down there?" The answer, of course, is "yes, but you'll need to supplement your income via theft." J/K))

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Posted : July 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Antiqueone, I've done all except about 3 on your list. I know lots of other people who have done the same. And we do have Neighborhood Watch. Deporting Illegal Aliens? Uh, it's not being done on the Mainland & I think we're probably ahead of them on that score.

Dept. of Interior is who to contact with the Feds as they oversee the territories. That's been done before too.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 2:51 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Actually they absolutely do deport illegal aliens here. Call your local ICE office, especially if you know any illegals that are involved in criminal or illegal activity.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 3:10 pm
Sabrina
(@Sabrina)
Advanced Member

I don't think illegal aliens are the ones committing all the crimes. Some of those people are so grateful to be living in a country where they are not in constant danger, that they endure long hours and low pay, and are happy just to survive. Drugs seem to be the cause of most crime, both directly and indirectly. The people using them have warped minds, and their lives revolve around how to get more. The people dealing are greedy and selfish, exploiting the sick addicts. I don't know if it is the case in the USVI, but many tourists who become victims of crime, do so when they are looking to buy drugs.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 4:39 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

No one said they are committing all the crimes but just coming into the country illegally is well illegal.

The locals here do not usually apprecite them because they are taking jobs away from them, yes even the low paying ones. The number of jobs on the islands is a fairly fixed thing.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 8:07 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

David~ I did do research on the statistics for the US as well as the VI. The statistics are a few years old, but still valid, I believe. As folks have pointed out before, comparison with the other islands is not really usefull. The results are too suspect. The fact is that Washington DC has a violent crime rate (per capita) almost 3 times as high as our islands. Several other states had higher crime rates, too. While I have harped about the crime here, it is nothing compared to the week I spend in Harlem one time. You are very right that the islands are not like a small mid-America country town where crime is almost non-existent except for a few bar fights and speeding tickets. I think living here is more like living in Boston or Philadelphia or, perhaps Milwaukee. Compared to parts of some cities, we are unbelievably peaceful. If you just learn to be aware of your surroundings and don't act like a potential victim, the chances of becoming a victim of crime here are really quite low. I have adjusted to the differences and I am never in fear here. Where I live I go out to look at the stars and take the dogs out at night, my door is unlocked all day unless I am away. Some people I know never lock their doors!

And I wouldn't want to move my family to DC, either. BTW I don't live in a suburb or small town and I have lived in the projects in the inner city of Cincinnati so the point of where I come from is moot. All these comparisons to other places don't do anything because my expectations aren't based on anywhere I've ever lived or heard of.

The point is, through no fault of your own, the facts you use to back your stance are wrong. That is what everyone is telling you.

First of all, that's not what everybody is telling me. I have like 5 PM's from people agreeing with me but fear posting because you guys tear anybody apart that has different viewpoints than your own. It's actually more like 3-4 people who can't believe anyone could possibly have different feelings from their own.

Secondly, when it comes to the well being of myself and family I feel more comfortable trusting numbers, news stories, and statistics than hearsay of anyone that has visited or lived on other islands. This point keeps coming up without any data that supports it and I feel I should just start making stuff up to support my 'stance'. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, but my conclusions are far from incorrect or grossly unfounded and I'm still coming under attack for them.

And I understand people want to compare it to where they're coming from, -but doesn't it bother you that SOME people come onto this board and act surprised or wag their heads that the Carribean has a higher crime rate than their whitebread suburban hometown?

Wow!! I see the point that you attempted to make but you don't know where I or anyone else that comes here is from or where they have lived. I don't think you could have made that comment any more inappropriate.

And if people are wagging their heads about crime down there it probably has something to do with the fact that people are considering moving their entire lives & families down there. I know the locals hate hearing about it, but it's very important for most people moving. Just like any topic that comes up again and again and again so does crime.

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Posted : July 28, 2008 10:33 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Betty commented that she personally knew more business owners and residents here who had been victims of a crime than she did in places she had lived on the mainland. I agree with that statement.. yet like all statistics it is also skewed by the differences in life here versus the mainland.

I simply KNOW so many more business owners and people here than I ever did in the many places I lived on the mainland. In many of those towns, you rarely even got to know your next door neighbors other than to nod as you drove into your garage after work. Life is lived differently here and more people spend large times out and about the island meeting people and doing things. If I stayed home all the time here hibernating through northern winters, I wouldn't know many people (if any) who had been victims of crimes. On the mainland I read about a lot of crimes in the paper or heard of them on the news, but here you hear about them through the grapevine even when you don't know the people yourself. It seems more personal and that scares many people more than reading about something in the paper on the mainland.

Davidryder - I don't understand your statement that you don't trust stories told directly by people who have lived here. How much more real can it get? If you totally discount the human experience of island residents who post to this board, what is it you were hoping to learn on this website?

Trusting statistics? Very scary proposition!

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Posted : July 30, 2008 5:16 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Thats a good point. So take out the casual friends and business owners. You do get to know more people down here its one of the things we like. We are both outgoing busy people. So we always had a pretty good circle of friends, here and stateside. And good friends are so important here, with most of us not having family here. I still have the same stats. Not a single friend hasnt been a victim of crime here.

The crime level here is a problem, other then being involved as you can afford to be I don't know what the solution is. Their has to be a large enough percentage of the population willing to do something. The culture here is so slow moving that I don't think it will happen anytime soon. I personnally like the stocks idea, I think it was Joann that had it, probablly another thread though.

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Posted : July 30, 2008 5:33 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

David...as you say, you lived in the projects of Cincy... but don't now. Cincy has one of the worst crime rates of any city in the US, but it's still a great place to live in & around. Same with the VI. There are places in both locations/situations you just know not to get into.

My comment about "some" who come to these boards and act surprised I think goes more towards what others have often said up here: they can't believe some people would think of moving here without knowing the reality of the situation regarding jobs, income, schools and crime. Then when someone tells them, they post complaints about it. And most are white folks coming from the suburbs -so duh...it's going to be different. (btw...The extent to which you thought that post was about 'you' you'll need to take up with your therapist.8-))

So it kind of ticks the locals off up here that people continue to post "the obvious" every month or so. It's like people coming to your house and saying your house sucks. What'd you expect?

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Posted : July 30, 2008 5:37 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

I'm sorry that it seems I'm personally attacking you but I'm not. People don't want to have real conversations about crime but instead tell me how it's not that bad, or explain what different things mean but when I started posting here people kept telling me how bad crime was how bad the job market was how bad the cops are and now suddenly it's not all true or there are some other explanations for it when someone that doesn't live there is talking about it. You're right, I could be completely wrong about the level of safety there. It could be in fact safer than the area I live in now. I could be completely wrong and it actually be one of the safest places in America.

I don't think that living in the USVI would be as bad as living in the projects in Cincinnati. I wasn't comparing the two either.

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Posted : July 30, 2008 6:13 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Sorry David, but you have no credibility with me any more. Although you refuse to say so, it is obvious you have never set foot on any of the islands. It is impossible to have any sort of informed opinion without having been here. And to continue to engage in dialogue with you is pointless. You are not here and are not coming here. I'm amazed that you feel the need to continue to post.

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Posted : July 30, 2008 6:43 pm
rokipatel
(@rokipatel)
Advanced Member

To be completely honest you can have all technical information in the world Factual or Made Up and you still have to at least spend time in that place in order to experience the real truth. Allot of people told me to be really careful in STT regarding crime and to be honest with you i see here less crime than i use to see in Miami and San Juan by far. David i honestly think you never had the real intention to r come and live in the VI. I think you are just another person that has Fantasies about the VI but cannot commit in making decision to do so or you are really wasting people's time here with your Negativity on a place you have never in your life set foot on. I suggest you find another fantasy maybe you should live in Fantasy Island .

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Topic starter Posted : July 30, 2008 9:16 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

David...as you say, you lived in the projects of Cincy... but don't now. Cincy has one of the worst crime rates of any city in the US, but it's still a great place to live in & around. Same with the VI. There are places in both locations/situations you just know not to get into.

So it kind of ticks the locals off up here that people continue to post "the obvious" every month or so. It's like people coming to your house and saying your house sucks. What'd you expect?

Cincinnati has a higher crime rate than the USVI and I wouldn't personally consider it a great place to live. Now living 10 minutes across the river in Kentucky is the difference between night & day but you still enjoy the benefits of living in the city and are much safer. That's why I don't understand comparing D.C. or Cincinnati or any other place to the USVI - in all those cities you can live right outside of the city limits and be away from the dense population. I am living on the outskirts of Tampa in a very safe area. The closer you get to Tampa the less safe it is. You can't live 15 minutes outside of STT because it's all water. It's a little more difficult to live outside of the crime 'hot spots' in the islands because of how small of an area they are.

That also may be why crime is such a hot topic and why it is perceived to be much worse there than anywhere else. The crime rate in the USVI could very possibly be lower than many places but it's harder to separate yourself from it than places on the mainland.

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Posted : July 31, 2008 8:34 am
A Davis
(@A_Davis)
Trusted Member

davidryder:

Everyone has a reason for saying what they say. I prefer to allow others to be who they are. If something said does not resonate with me, I just leave it alone. You are not here to fend off anything. You ran it up the flagpole. Some saluted, some did not. And that is that. Sometimes we just have to "get over it" and move on.

Yes, I work in the hospitality industry. What of it? I also know, through my own trial and error, that I love living here, warts and all. Just as anyone in the world will have to assess his or her choice of where to live. Live where you want to live, davidryder, no one is stopping you.

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Posted : July 31, 2008 12:09 pm
Off Island
(@Off_Island)
Advanced Member

David...as you say, you lived in the projects of Cincy... but don't now. Cincy has one of the worst crime rates of any city in the US, but it's still a great place to live in & around. Same with the VI. There are places in both locations/situations you just know not to get into.

So it kind of ticks the locals off up here that people continue to post "the obvious" every month or so. It's like people coming to your house and saying your house sucks. What'd you expect?

Cincinnati has a higher crime rate than the USVI and I wouldn't personally consider it a great place to live. Now living 10 minutes across the river in Kentucky is the difference between night & day but you still enjoy the benefits of living in the city and are much safer. That's why I don't understand comparing D.C. or Cincinnati or any other place to the USVI - in all those cities you can live right outside of the city limits and be away from the dense population. I am living on the outskirts of Tampa in a very safe area. The closer you get to Tampa the less safe it is. You can't live 15 minutes outside of STT because it's all water. It's a little more difficult to live outside of the crime 'hot spots' in the islands because of how small of an area they are.

That also may be why crime is such a hot topic and why it is perceived to be much worse there than anywhere else. The crime rate in the USVI could very possibly be lower than many places but it's harder to separate yourself from it than places on the mainland.

David,
I think as you can tell that this board has some passionate folks. You also have to understand that you have essentially rejected the place they live and love for your own personal reasons based on research. My thoughts are if you don't feel safe living in the USVI then don't move there., simple as that. I read this board for a year before I moved to St. Thomas, the four years I lived on St. Thomas and continue to read it since I have been gone for almost a year now. I was worried about crime and safety on St. Thomas before we were transferred there and most of my fears turned out to be way over blown. I started out living in Estate Elizabeth near the north side and loved the neighborhood. I ran with my wife at 5:00 am most mornings and the only thing I worried about was maybe a stray pit bull from some of the random dog fights. I ran with pepper spray because of my fear of a dog that might get off its chain but in all the mornings I ran, I never came across a stray dog.
I purchased a home on the East End in Cowpet Bay East and continued the habit of early morning runs and sometimes late evening runs in the National Park or out around Cabrita Point. The crowd at Vessup Beach would worry me sometimes by for I never had any issues. I felt perfectly comfortable walking with my wife down to the beach at Cowpet and down in Red Hook we spent many many, too many an evening.

I actually lived and worked in Washington D.C. during its height of infamy for being the murder capital of the United States. Most of the crime occurred in Anacostia, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Logan Circle etc.. If you worked or lived in D.C. you basically knew where you could go safely and at what times. I walked the city streets of D.C. many nights with no worries and most of D.C. is perfectly safe and there are some great family neighborhoods that most tourist will never see or know anything about. My brother lives in Cincinnati so I know where you are coming from on that one. He lives in Hyde Park which is pretty nice place and I have seen the bad neighborhoods as well.

Statistics can provide you with a road map but they are also easy to misuse. St. Thomas is a relatively small island that is a Caribbean drug hub. When you have drugs, you have crime that comes with it. With a smaller population it makes a location like St. Thomas look dangerous by looking a crime statistics alone. This board always recommends pre move visits which is smart. In my 4yrs on the island I took a lot of transfer candidates around the island to see if they were interested in moving there. Some liked it and some hated it right away. Everybody has different opinions and different standards. For me personally I love St. Thomas and I kept my home there so I can return again and again and hopefully one day come back for most of the year if not all of it.

Good luck to you David and your wife. I hope where ever you end up that you enjoy it.

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Posted : July 31, 2008 4:20 pm
rokipatel
(@rokipatel)
Advanced Member

Great Post Off island my thoughts exactly. In my case i have stayed in the Vi as a vacationer for periods of more than a month during my childhood all the way to adulthood so i had an idea. Looking at this forum i was surprised to see so many people talk about STT like it is a War Zone and my experience here has been very far from that story. Off course you could take all the precautions in the world and you could still be a victim of crime. One thing that i found here is that because it is a very small community stories of crimes are blown out of proportion because of the island size. Crime is STT is no less than any other place that receives millions of tourist and visitors and where there is a volume of international trade and travel thru the archipielago of islands including Puerto rico and neighboring islands. STT is consider one of the most cosmopolitan communities in the caribbean. There are still allot of people here in the VI that do not lock their cars and homes and the percentage of those people being victims of crime is very low only if you are involve in the drug trade then you should be worry about crime here in the VI most people like me have nothing to do with that so i don't worry about crime

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Topic starter Posted : August 1, 2008 1:52 am
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

Off Island, that was indeed a good post, and puts some perspective on things. I will say though that it really all has to do with perspective. Like you said, no matter where you go you can be a victim of crime - even in the little communities that have 0 murders a year - you can still succumb to crime. As far as the actual chances of someone being victimized - they aren't easily translated by statistics because when it comes down to it a large part of your chances of victimization is random, and even a larger part is how you conduct yourself.

Aside from that, different people 'feel' comfortable in different places. These ranking probably aren't that far off but that doesn't mean that you can't be safe where you live. As others have said, it's mostly a matter of exposing yourself to the high-crime areas and conducting yourself according to what will increase your chances of victimization. If people follow simple guidelines to protect themselves and do what others have suggested to stay safe there is a very high probability they will indeed stay safe.

That doesn't mean crime isn't bad or it's a safe place to live though. All the things that are recommended to do to stay out of harms way isn't really anything I have to do where I live now (and no I don't live in podunk white bred suburbia as some have also suggested). You have to make sacrifices to stay safe there and some people just don't want to do that. They are of little importance to people who have made the USVI their home or for people in their forties and beyond.

I never thought it was a war zone there nor did I ever create that image. I also don't think that people (like me) feel anyone is lying in bed in fear awaiting murder like some have suggested.

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Posted : August 1, 2008 11:48 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

I've found that people who have limited multi-cultural experiences tend to be a bit paranoid and think more about being a victim and are often anxious in environments that are out of there paradigm.

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Posted : August 1, 2008 12:53 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

David,
Did you get on message boards of all of the other places you decided NOT to move to? That must keep you very busy.
I for one am more on the outlook for trying to not be a victim when I am on STX, more so than in AZ. I know that the crime rate is higher. However I can't wait until I get to go a couple of times a year and am really looking forward to splitting our time there when my wife retires next year.
I am sure that many will agree with me when I say, If you had moved down to the USVI you would have been welcomed with open arms by most. However we don't care to continually hear why you are not coming.
Many do stick their heads in the sand and pretend that there are no problems. Many are actively trying to do something about the problems.
But would you like it if the people who once dated or decided not to date your girlfriend ( I'm sure she is very nice and am only using this as a reference) continued to tell you why they thought that way? You would become very protective of her. How many times have you seen someone complain about their significant other, but let someone jump on that other and the person defends them to the end. Same thing here, maybe.
I can find many reasons not to live in AZ, but it's the best place , second to STX for me. I thought that I would never want to leave AZ. That was until we visited STX in Dec of 04. On the way home we were telling ourselves that we needed to get a place there. We have been to many different places - countries / islands and never felt that way about anywhere else.
I say either come down and see for yourself or drop it.

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Posted : August 1, 2008 3:06 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Is anyone elses computer acting crazy this morning? Mine keeps popping up with all kinds of garbage and it is running very slow. I don't know if it is the rain or a little gremlin or troll has invaded it.

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Posted : August 2, 2008 9:56 am
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