Is there a safer side of the Island (STT)
Which part of STT is considered to have the lowest incidence of violent crime - or is it similar in all areas? I was considering living on the East or North side. Do the police compile crime statistics by area?
I am always surprised when I see posts on here about crime. Yes, it's good that folks are checking things out before they come, yeah, I hear about crime in the paper...but, in nine years of living here, I have not seen one incidence of crime, personally...well, unless you count littering! Haha! Seriously, though, unless you turn in 'those' circles, the odds of you being involved in crime in any way are very slim. Sure, you still wanna lock your car doors (why invite it?), but I belive that many people coming from The States must have a huge problem in their area of the US...or have unrealistic expectations for us here...just use your head, like anywhere else...like, lock your doors, don't leave piles of money or valuables out in plain sight unattended, don't go looking for crack down a dark alley at 2 am...pretty simple stuff, don'tcha think? I mean, what part of the island is safest? C'mon! The island is only 3 miles wide and twelve long! Not much room for diversity, ya know? Is the Northside safer than Contant? Yeah, to a degree...but, thieves would probably rather rob a house on the Northside than their neighbors, ya know? Odds are that the house on the Northside contains valuables, whereas their neighbors may be just as bad off as the crooks. Jennifer: As far as violent crime goes...I've lived on the Northside for most of my nine years here, and currently staying on the Southside, and I've gotta say...I don't 'feel' any difference. I feel equally safe...and I'd probably feel the same if I lived out West or in the East. I mean, even Smith Bay, which has sections that can sometimes be read about for crime in the paper, even feels 'safe' to me....maybe I'm weird, I dunno.
"We're all here...cuz we're not all there!"
Jennifer: Suffice it to say that there really is no answer to your question. Even what were historically considered "safe" areas on the East, West, North and Southside of STT have become over the years the target of burglars.
Was the day when nobody locked up their doors here or locked up their cars and life in general was much gentler than it is today. That day is long gone and anybody who thinks differently is bound to get a major surprise in short shrift. The non-educated young robbing punks have no problem expending time in "casing out" your residence and they're quick to find an inlet to your home, know your modus operandi and thus hit you when you least expect it.
As said, there really is no educated answer to your question.
Longtime poster Teresa who is now in Atlanta had a break-in incident here on STT - research her posts!
You're asking a question which has been asked and has been pretty much answered. Hope this helps.
I totally agree with what you are saying.
This is not to say that I don't take the same kinds of precautions that I would in any major urban area, but I feel "safe" around here too.
Does the USVI have an absolutely appalling crime rate? Yes! Does something need to be done about it? Absolutely and quickly!!!! Do I have very high hopes pinned on the new Governor and his new appointees in the VIPD? Yes, and I certainly hope that they can deliver!
Do I personally feel safe? Yes, I really do.
I know this response might be confusing to those who don't live here (STT), but I think Marty summed it up fairly well. I think if you dig deeply into many (but certainly not all) of these crimes you will find a whole long history between victim and perpetrator.
Just use some common sense, avoid any type of illegal activity, don't make any enemies, and everything should be fine.
It is also related to the housing situation. Look at Peterborg, on the far Northside. There's ONE road in and out of that area, and you have to go on that road for a few before you'll reach a house....
...and then, there are gated communities extending off of that one road.....
and then, there might be gated homes extending off of that gated road entrance. I'm talking about electonic gates with cameras, etc.
Is that area safer? I say yes....because what criminal wants to go all the way down there....then go on the long road out to the point...then cross the gated, electronic entry to the community....then find the gated house with cameras, and with electronic entry and guard dogs......
But, the question is....will YOU want to buy a house there? Have a million or two - or ten?
For average folks......there's probably not much you can do. We lived in really nice areas...and we got robbed all the time! Maybe crime has improved...since people on here say they never got robbed. Maybe we just didn't have theright system - no security, no dogs, isolated homes, lots of stuff to steal.
I recall our downstairs tennant stealing our TV in our home over Magens Bay - we had a home with an apartment underneath. My mom and dad broke into his apartment and stole it back...and made me and my brother be the "lookout" - we were 8 and 5. Dad was in the Attorney General's office. Crazy!
Ok, Marty says he feels safe in Smith Bay. He may. I don't. I have been with "born here" locas who can barely speak driving through that area. They're afriad of the Cocki beach and Pineapple beach drug drops, at night.
Locals will know best. But, if I were moving, I'd avoid Smith Bay, Tutu and Contant for living - but Smith Bay is good for dining options.
I'd go with Peterborg, Hull Bay, West End - incl Fortuna and west, Cowpet Bay - East End, Northstar Village, maybe Solberg for a deal (any input on this area??), Mandahl, Mafolie, Frenchman's Bay. Others I have surely not named.
Using common sense is good advice anywhere, and will keep you safe from most violent crime. Burglary is another matter and crime stats are misleading because much crime goes unreported. Other posters have given suggestions on avoiding burglary, but to summarize: live in a hard-to-access area, have security systems and good locks, keep a dog, don't have any nice stuff to steal (computers, jewelry, electronics). Be extra careful if you live alone, especially if you are female. Most burglaries have taken place when the residents are out, but not all, and recently there seem to have been more break-ins when people are at home. I love the VI and have never been burgled (is that how you say that?), but half of the people I know have had the experience and it leaves you feeling helpless.
Regarding Smith Bay:
I truly do not find it as scary as all that.
If a local is so afraid that they "can barely speak driving through that area," then I would definitely say that they are a worrying a little too much.
Would I be on Coki beach at night? No. Nor would I be on any beaches much past 7:00 P.M or so.
But I have absolutey no problem driving through Smith Bay -- even at night. Actually Smith Bay encompasses a fairly large area and has some residential areas with large, beautiful, brand-new homes, that have incredible down-island views. I know because I lived in Smith Bay for a while when I first moved here. As we speak there are two high-end homes on the market in Smith Bay, one for 4.6 million and the other for 2.6 million.
Here's my point: It is very hard to make generalizations about neighborhoods because just about every area on this island contains desirable neighborhoods. And that's why Jennifer's question is SO difficult to answer in a definitive way.
I would not live in a hard to access area unless you had guards and a gate to block it. It is much better to have neighbors and get to know them and look out for you. Anyone can start a neighborhood watch. I know my litte estate started one about 4 years ago and it seems to be working well so far. We all keep in touch by email if nothing else let each other know what is going on in our neck of the woods. Security systems are worthless on stx, so maybe you're talking about stt. Good locks would help if they didnt often go through window slats. So expensive windows help. Keep a dog, heck keep several, they will only enrich your life. Use a house sitter when you go out of town. Burglary is bad but rape is the number one violent crime.
I dont buy in to that long history crap about victim and abuser (think that is a bunch of hooey to make to try and make the middle class feel safer). Like starfish above I've know too many people who have had problems. And once in a while it is someone's coke up friend that robs their place, but I've know several friends (over the years) that have been robbed at gun point and had their homes broken into and their was no coralation. The amount of crime that goes on here based on population is higher then alot of places in the us, but it is just another trade off.
The crime stats on STT and STX are not the same. STT gets millions of tourists every year. This means that there is more transience and more visible affluence. You said rape is the number one crime on STX but the differences between the haves and the have nots are much more in-your-face on STT than on STX, which is why rape is not the number one crime on STT.
I choose to live in the Caribbean in planning for my infinite future, to try to grow accustomed to the heat...
Someone needs to define "robbery" versus "burglary" - robbery involves force and is initiated against a person or entity - burgling a house is a property crime and therefore not considered violent unless the resident or someone is at home at the time of the break in and things go south in a hurry, at which point it becomes a robbery if force or threats of force are used.
Make sure everyone's on the same page before quoting stats on those......rape and homicide are pretty self-explanatory, but I think robbery/burglary are interchangeable in a lot of people's minds, when in fact they are completely separate crimes......both felonies, but completely, totally separate.
Getting held up at gunpoint is robbery.......getting your t.v. stolen after someone kicks in your door is burglary.
I would also agree with whoever posted above - very often there is a common thread to the homicides and truly violent crime and what have you - these are folks that know each other, it's not the Wild West with shootouts in the street........it's the dope deal gone bad or whatever........it's the guys who get to fighting over someone saying "yo mama" and out comes the machete.....I can only recall one instance of what I would consider to be a stranger-involved homicide on St. Croix when we were there, the Hovensa guy that got beat to death outside the bar.....even then, words had been spoken (most likely drunken words)....and he should have lived but it took over an hour for the ambulance to show up......oh, dang, promoguy - I'm not being succinct again....
To clarify - we lived on STX - I am not familiar with STT other than what I read in the paper - I was only trying to make a point on terms used....
Hi Becky R,
That is an excellent point -- clarifying the difference between violent and non-violent crime. Thank you for pointing that out because it is an important difference.
When I say that I feel "safe" I am talking about the threat of violent crime.
I am concerned about burglary and auto theft, which is why I have an alarm systems in car and home, but these are not issues that undermine my feeling of personal safety.
BTW I think you are being quite "succinct" in your discussion of violent crime and how it usually seems to go down.
Get at least one dog. West Indians fear animals, and that is generally why they abuse them.
I grew up in Frenchman's Bay. I helped my best friends father build a house there. They did not have a dog, and were robbed twice in the first year they lived there. I lived on the same street for almost ten years with dogs and was never robbed.
I would say the North Side is the safest part of the island.
Over many years and to this day I have friends who live/have lived on the North Side, The East End, Frenchman's Bay, Havensight, Smith Bay, West End and all inbetween who have been burglarized. And some of those were/are in gated communities such as Anchorage, etc. and some were in ostensibly "remote" areas such as Peterborg.
I'm certainly not being facetious in my comments because I've been a victim of burglaries over the years both on the South and East sides - and much worse.
There are many resident posters on this forum who have been abused by burglaries and won't say a word. There are many resident non-posters who "lurk" and read this forum who have been likewise assaulted but won't say anything because they fear retribution.
That train of thought bothers me no end because this is a community problem and has all to do with lack of respect (not that I'm saying it's unjustified!) for the VIPD,
Hopefully the new administration will address this basic inherent problem and be able to make so many wrongs at least come to some semblance of right. It certainly might take a while to accomplish but Rome wasn't built in a day,