July 12, 2016 03:25PM
I am looking to move to the USVI and would like to hear from current residents what the crime is like. I keep reading about robbery/muggings to tourist but not sure if this is typical or not. The St Croix PD says it is just local gang/drug related crime issues. Please let me know your experience and your take on safety in the islands.
July 12, 2016 03:36PM
The US Virgin Islands has the highest murder rate in the US.
July 13, 2016 06:59PM
Hello hyd916, and welcome to the message board.
Generally feel safe on St. Thomas during the day. In the evening there is greater awareness of people, activities and areas of the island - greater sense of keeping on eye out - avoid being in the wrong place type thing. Very aware of where I park, over the last year have known at least 6-7 people that had their window busted and some items inside taken (usually any cash and in one case a backpack which happened to contain cloths).
Feeling safe and being safe are tied to each other but different. The number of murders here is a lot as John mentioned; and there is a lot of drug/gang activities like the police department mentioned to you. I don't think the VIPD has stats on crimes on their website, haven't seen it in the past and just took a quick look again and didn't see any. The local newspapers typically post police reports so you could start following the news reports.
PS: The website you are on right now, VInow.com, is a travel guide. We have a sister site to this one for relocation and living in the USVI. You'll find a lot of good information there from cost of living, finding apartment to safety. Take a look: [www.vimovingcenter.com].
Thanks for visiting VInow.com.
July 13, 2016 08:13PM
I keep reading about robbery/muggings to tourist but not sure if this is typical or not. The St Croix PD says it is just local gang/drug related crime issues.
July 14, 2016 04:33PM
Thank you for the responses! I think I will be just fine as I don't plan on venturing out too far off the beaten path especially until I really get to know the place!
I am looking forward to experiencing island life!
July 26, 2016 05:06PM
I have owned on St. Croix for 15 years and never had a problem. As the police told you, violent crime is mostly drugs, gangs and domestic violence. If you don't get involved in illegal activities, it is unlikely you will have a problem. As anywhere else, don't walk alone late at night and watch your surroundings. Don't leave valuable stuff in your car, which you shouldn't do anywhere. Sometimes violent crime spills over into the greater community, but not much.
What you will find on St Croix are kind, helpful, proper, religious people. Drivers stop to let you in traffic. Friends stop to greet each other and no one honks. Be sure to remember to say "good morning", "good afternoon", and "good night". All interactions must start with a greeting if you want to be respected. Manners and civility are paramount.
Good luck. It's a magic place.
July 27, 2016 07:39PM
I live in a town of 800 people. A single murder in a year would therefore statistically curse us with a frighteningly high "murder rate" - to use John's expression - but would be misleading in the extreme. Small islands inherently have relatively low populations, so any recorded violence immediately skews the apparent "rate" to a high number as compared to larger US cities or states.
Please beware of trolls and the mathematically ignorant when discussing crime rates, Islander's perspective above is far more educated and useful.
July 28, 2016 08:46PM
110,000 people is not equal to 800, regan. There are typically 60 murder per year there, so who is mathematically challenged?
August 02, 2016 10:17AM
Lessee... 60 murders per 110,000 people equals... (60/110,000) .55 murders per every thousand people, or to put it another way, one murder for every 1,833 citizens. In my town, a single murder would of course be one murder for every 800 citizens, or a "murder rate" of 1.25 murders per every 1000 citizens. Which on paper would be over twice the rate of the Virgin Islands even! Frightening indeed.
Stay away from Auburn, MI, you'll be shot! : )
August 02, 2016 09:15PM
And 4.5 per 100,000 is the national average, rather than 55 per 100,000.
November 27, 2016 05:58PM
I don't know that we could ever afford to move to Saint Croix.
And I'm not sure where we would live if we did want to move there.
But we just took our second trip to Saint Croix in four years.
We get out and about a lot by car, though normally not late at night (we're not barflies), but we never found any reason to be concerned about our safety more than we would be anywhere else as visitors.
In fact, I feel safer on Saint Croix...than in south Florida and the Keys.
But I think there was more of a police presence this time.
If anything, if I lived on Saint Croix I would be worried about the robber getting mad...after he found out how little I have to steal.
December 10, 2016 07:08PM
Hey there. I lived in St. Croix for 6 years, and I left just before Hovensa closed. The crime was bad then and it's certainly worse now. I'm in constant contact with many friends that still reside there. I absolutely love the island and I appreciate every single moment I experienced there. It's truly an amazingly beautiful place. I have no regrets. However.... I would never go back to live there. I had so many close encounters that (thank God) did not turn out like they very likely could have/would have turned out. I think about the fact that if I didn't know to look over my shoulder or know how to pick up the warning signs, I could have been dead or severely compromised. It's a different culture that "state-siders" need to recognize they do not understand. Again, I ache for the beautiful island and so many great people that are there. I would be doing a disservice not to express to potential travelers that you absolutely cannot let your guard down. The crime rate is high, but remember: many crimes (murder included) are not reported. As it stands the murder rate is 5 times the national average. Again, much of the crime is not reported or at least documented if it is reported. Hope this helps..........
May 11, 2017 08:33PM
Hello everyone, we were watching a TV show "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" and was curious about living there, so I looked up crime rates, and was directed to this thread.
I don't know if the laws are different there compared to the mainland USA. I was reading all of your comments, thinking, They should make a law that once you are convicted of a crime, you cannot live on the Island anymore... Thinking the crime rates would drop...
Where I grew up, everyone helped every one else that needed it, like opening doors for both men and women, having respect for each other, those days were great.. now it is just a cesspool of people trying to screw anyone out of an extra penny, manners and respect are gone... For example we had a major wind storm a few weeks ago, so like I was raised I went out to help clean up.... People looked at me like I had 3 heads.... Other than the crime on the island, it seems to be a great peaceful place to live, and the views of the Island are just breathtaking...
May 13, 2017 10:46AM
@catch22 - "I don't know if the laws are different there compared to the mainland USA. I was reading all of your comments, thinking, They should make a law that once you are convicted of a crime, you cannot live on the Island anymore... Thinking the crime rates would drop... "
Just where in the USA do you live that has such a law? If Chicago had a law like that it would be a "ghost" town!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2017 10:47AM by RockyDock.
May 15, 2017 01:48PM
" And 4.5 per 100,000 is the national average, rather than 55 per 100,000."
John, Dude, you missed the decimal point. It's "0.55" murders per thousand people, not "55".
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2017 01:51PM by Regan.
May 16, 2017 12:23PM
Huh? It is 0.55 per 1000, or 55 per 100,000. Simple math.
2016 there were 42.8 per 100,000 murders in the USVI. The USVI should be compared to states and not cities, as the USVI is a territory, but if you do compare the islands to cities in the USA the USVI places just under #4, New Orleans.
BTW, Chicago placed at #8 with 27.9 per 100,000.
Correction, according to the VI Consortium it is 47 per 100,000 placing it just after #2 Baltimore: US murder rate 2016.
A later VI Consortium article placed the murder rate at 55 per 100,000 in 2016, placing the USVI between #1 St. Louis and #2 Baltimore.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2017 12:53PM by John.
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