Crime in USVI
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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.
The US Virgin Islands has the highest murder rate in the US.
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: http://www.vimovingcenter.com.
Thanks for visiting VInow.com.
hyd916 wrote: 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.
In over 30 years living on St Thomas I was burglarized once, and was the victim of violent crime twice during the 16 years I owned and operated a restaurant/bar. I seriously question the sources which you think maybe indicate frequent "robbery/muggings to tourist". Considering the few million visitors we have every year, these are very few and far between. The STX PD gave you correct information - the major crimes here involve gangs, drugs and domestic violence.
I've never felt unsafe going about my daily routine on STT but, as I would anywhere, have always been careful about where I go at night and stick to areas with which I'm familiar.
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!
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.
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.
110,000 people is not equal to 800, regan. There are typically 60 murder per year there, so who is mathematically challenged?
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! : )
And 4.5 per 100,000 is the national average, rather than 55 per 100,000.
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.
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..........
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...
@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!
" 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".
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.
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.