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Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

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Parkton Md
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Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

We leave next week for our trip to St.John and will be staying at a rental villa on Gift Hill. We are really looking forward to this trip, but the more I look into some of the crime issues the more concerned I become. This is just a family trip so we won`t be out at night or doing anything stupid, just hitting the beaches and staying at the villa at night. I hear that there have been a number of B&E`s on the island, and that some have taken place at night when the occupants are home. This concerns me as I am a vetern Law Enforcement Officer and was hoping to not worry about having a weapon on vacation.

I hope this information is just internet BS and is just being blown out of proportion.

Any first hand knowledge of the crime issue would be appreciated and any link with current crime stats would be great. I could not find any links for current crime stats on the island and I`m sure they don`t want that info. getting out in fear of hurting the tourist industry.

We will still enjoy our stay on the island and will just stay alert and aware like we do at home.

Thanks for any info.

stj
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1. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

keep your strap and your family safe at home...

CT
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for St. John
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2. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

I have not seen any recent crime reports so I am wondering where you are getting your information.

That is not to say that crime does not happen, but it is not an everyday occurence by any means and I have not seen any recent reports.

DO NOT bring a weapon.

As a law enforcement officer, I am sure that these tips will be common and obvious but:

Do not flash a wad of cash anywhere

NEVER leave a purse, wallet, or electronic in a vehicle, locked or not

NEVER leave a purse, wallet, or electronic in the open at the villa even when you are there. I even keeps chargers out of site. If someone sees a charger, they will assume there is something to take.

Keep doors and windows locked when you are not there and at night when sleeping.

I lived on STJ for 5 years as single woman living alone and have been visiting at least once a year for the past 10 years. I have never been robbed, had my home or villa broken into, had my car broken into, etc.

Have a great time!!!

United States
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3. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

Although it looks and feels like it, StJ isn't really paradise. There is crime. Most visitors never experience it. I have read of break-ins at rental villas. We have visited StJ many times and never felt unsafe or had anything stolen. Lock doors and windows when away. Lock doors and accessible windows (if not needed for cooling) at night when going to bed. Keep exterior lights on (a real pain because of attracting bugs). Leave an exterior light on if you think you will return to the villa after dark. Leave interior lights on when you leave for the day. Use the safe. Don't carry valuables with you that you don't need. Don't advertise on the internet or in town what villa you are staying at and when. Be aware of your surroundings. One thing we have begun doing is to ask the villa manager if there have been any break-ins in the last year. I suspect that once a criminal finds a villa whose location and layout works for him that he will return.

Texas
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4. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

I have visited St. John's every summer for the past 7 years. I typically travel there with just my daughter (now 13) and I. We have never experienced any criminal activity in St. John and in fact feel very safe in town and on the beaches. I do tend to guard my possessions more when we are on St. Thomas (going from the airport to the ferry) and have heard (not experienced) about more problems there, but nothing extreme like other Caribbean nations like Jamaica or Puerto Rico. St. Johns is much more relaxed and friendlier, just take the same precautious you would with any family vacation - don't leave valuables laying out on the beach in clear site, lock your car if you have valuables in it, etc.

Be sure to eat at Uncle Joes located across from the post office (no sign, just ask someone where it is). Dig your toes into the soft sand at Cinnamon Beach, walk along the shore of Hansen Bay and collect sea glass, hike the reef bay trail and see the pyteroglyphs, stop by and see the Tek-Tite Museum and VIERS camp, tour the Annaberg Plantation ruins, snorkel the mangroves in Hurricane Hole, see the giant star fish around Waterlemon Key, but most important, have fun, relax and enjoy your trip - it is a wonderful island.

Springfield...
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5. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

Tink,

I'm wondering why you're so adamant about a law enforcement officer bringing a weapon. For most of them, that's like asking them to travel naked.

I can understand advising a civilian not to bring a weapon, I would do the same, but i wouldn't tell a LEO that. If an LEO wanted to travel armed in order to feel safe, more power to him.

If I were a sworn LEO, I'd never travel with out my weapon. Keeping your family safe is first and foremost.

United States
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6. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

Personally, I think a gun on vacation on StJ is a bad idea. First, it is not needed. Second it's vacation and you shouldn't have to worry about the weapon. Third, it makes for a bulge in the swimshorts. I think it would be locked in the safe for the whole trip and if it were stolen it means one more gun in the hands of the bad guys on the island. And lastly, its not needed.

I don't think the OP was actually considering bringing his or her sidearm with them but was concerned about some reports that they had read.

Massachusetts
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7. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

The VIPD really don't want people bringing weapons along on their vacations. The process to legally bring a firearm into the VI is tedious and time-consuming enough to discourage anyone who is just vacationing. Being a LEO somewhere else does not give someone the authority to be armed in the USVI. Only if the LEO were in the VI on official business would they be viewed differently than anybody else in that regard.

If someone needs to be armed to feel safe on STJ, they ought to seek out somewhere else to vacation. Vacations should be stress-free and people should avoid going places where they feel in danger.

STJ does have significantly more crime than we first visited it. Then it could be said that nearly all crime was crime of opportunity. Now there is more crime of intent. There is definitely a lot more crime involving firearms. But it's still a very safe place. Lock doors, don't leave valuables anywhere accessible. Don't be a drunken fool lurching around town. If someone or something doesn't feel right, get away from it. Use common sense, take normal precautions. We're urban dwellers, so my "normal precautions" are quite different from what suburbanites may consider "normal precautions". I never understood why some visitors feel STJ is somewhat dangerous. I feel much safer on STJ than I do at home. But I finally realized that for some visitors, STJ probably actually is more high-risk than where they live.

I've always felt completely safe on STJ. I might feel differently if I hung out late in Cruz Bay or was seeking out illegal activities or substances. Crime does happen. B&Es do occur, but it's very, very rare. If anything, the danger is being lulled into such a sense of well-being, that "normal precautions" get lowered.

I've never been victim of a crime on STJ, not has anyone I've known---either visitor or resident.

CT
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8. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

My close friend is a police officer, travels to STJ several times a year, and does not bring his gun.

He keeps his family safe like the rest of us do. Common sense and smart decisions.

Bringing a gun on vacation is an oxymoron in my book.

Just my opinion, of course.

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

lol, hard to get a gun in when you're a licensed carrying police officer, but easy to get a gun if you're a thug in the Islands.

Yep, makes sense to me!!

I say bring it if it makes you feel safer. Yes, my brother is a Chief of Police here in the states and he has brought one to many Islands.

That's the way police are made. And....they'd be the first to protect you whether or not your in an Island or on your on street in the states.

JMO of course :o)

Tampa, FL
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308 posts
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10. Re: Realistic Crime Concerns on St. John

You should have no worries about the safety of yourself or your family for many reasons. You are a trained professional and have heightened instincts and would recognize a problem situation long before the average tourist,. Crime is minimal on the island, compared to the States. We've been coming to the island for 10 years and have never experienced any problems or talked to anyone that has. We don't leave anything in our car when we park it and we leave the doors unlocked - why break a window to find nothing if you can open the door and find nothing? We make casual "friends" with people on the beaches so when we go snorkling, they "watch out" for our stuff, as we do theirs but I have to say, I've never seen anyone "lurking" around on the beaches.

You and your family will have a wonderful vacation. Safe travels - I'm more concerned in the airports than I am anywhere on STJy