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Old 30-04-2013, 09:58   #31
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

I just read that 1/3 of crimes are reported. I think it's true that cell phones and media have made people more aware. It's a little bit of hype I'm sure, but it's amazing what some bonehead criminals actually do, not to mention the really bad ones. The awareness is good for that group of incredibly naive people who think that there arent people around ready to cut their finger off for the diamond ring....
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:21   #32
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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I just read that 1/3 of crimes are reported.
Petty crimes, yes. For serious crimes this is not true. Look up stats for murder, car theft, or violent break-ins - they are all trending down across the continent.
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:30   #33
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

Interestingly, many of the respondents seem to feel that crime has not increased, but decreased and it really isn't a problem. . . that it is as safe today as it was ten years ago. How then should we perceive the crimes that are reported throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America . . . a chimera, an anomaly, obvious falsehoods, yellow journalism and should they be ignored? Why even report these incidents if they really don't matter to most cruisers? As a previous poster has mentioned, the life experience levels of people varies greatly and is this really the reason for their cavalier attitude or does their desire to visit these areas outweigh their concerns? For those of you have have visited these areas on your own boat over the last twenty years, can you honestly say that nothing has changed?
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:53   #34
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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Interestingly, many of the respondents seem to feel that crime has not increased, but decreased and it really isn't a problem. . . that it is as safe today as it was ten years ago. How then should we perceive the crimes that are reported throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America . . . a chimera, an anomaly, obvious falsehoods, yellow journalism and should they be ignored? Why even report these incidents if they really don't matter to most cruisers? As a previous poster has mentioned, the life experience levels of people varies greatly and is this really the reason for their cavalier attitude or does their desire to visit these areas outweigh their concerns? For those of you have have visited these areas on your own boat over the last twenty years, can you honestly say that nothing has changed?

The net is cast too wide. Crime is down in Seattle but may be up in isolated pockets of Seattle. Crime is down in St. Petersburg, but not on that houseboat where both occupants were murdered. Maybe crime is down on one end of an island but up at the other. And as we can see, asking the locals may not help, because personal perception is personal perception. I remember when I was young and foolish and felt safe in places where I truly was not -- as I found out after my purse was snatched and I was slammed to the ground.

I don't think being armed is as much help as some others do. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I know a man who was recently murdered in his trailor. Friends of his were suspicious of neighbors of his and brought him pepper spray to keep by his bed. Clearly he never had a chance to use it.

We're not completely safe, nor completely in danger, anywhere.
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:59   #35
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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Petty crimes, yes. For serious crimes this is not true. Look up stats for murder, car theft, or violent break-ins - they are all trending down across the continent.

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Old 30-04-2013, 12:33   #36
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

Here's a report by the United Nations regarding the increase of crime in the Caribbean. The numbers are revealing. United Nations News Centre - Criminal violence taking rising toll in Caribbean countries, UN report finds
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:45   #37
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

And, it is of little consolation, when you are sitting at the police station, making your report, and they say, "You know, statistically, you are safer this year than your were last year. It really would have made more sense if you got mugged last year."
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:02   #38
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

I don't really understand why it is so important for some on this thread to make others feel scared!

This part of why I'm much more scared of some cruisers that any "native" somewhere.
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:28   #39
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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I don't really understand why it is so important for some on this thread to make others feel scared!

This part of why I'm much more scared of some cruisers that any "native" somewhere.
Don, no one is trying to frighten anyone. But when you travel beyond the continental US, it is helpful to be aware, especially if you don't have much travel/cruising experience outside the country. And what gives you cause to be frightened of "cruisers" you don't know, more so than than the "peaceful and nonviolent(?) natives" elsewhere? Knowledge is Power . . . Ignorance is Bliss. The Boogeyman is everywhere. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:41   #40
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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Here's a report by the United Nations regarding the increase of crime in the Caribbean. The numbers are revealing. United Nations News Centre - Criminal violence taking rising toll in Caribbean countries, UN report finds
That is interesting, but it doesn't tell us about crimes against cruisers, and I doubt there are any accurate statistics on that--way too small a number, so it will be completely off the radar of any officials. There are occasional incidents against cruisers in the Caribbean, but I wonder how the number would compare if you took that same population and looked at the statistics for a similar group of people living in the cities where the cruisers came from? In other words, crime happens everywhere, but if you or I gets mugged in Philadelphia or Boston it will barely make the news, but if we get mugged in St. Lucia it is broadcast all throughout the cruisers' communication grapevine.

Bottom line, if you are worried about crime it is very easy to avoid any even remotely questionable area. Head up to New England in the summer and your greatest danger will be getting boarded by mosquitoes at sunset.
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:02   #41
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Don, no one is trying to frighten anyone. But when you travel beyond the continental US, it is helpful to be aware, especially if you don't have much travel/cruising experience outside the country. And what gives you cause to be frightened of "cruisers" you don't know, more so than than the "peaceful and nonviolent(?) natives" elsewhere? Knowledge is Power . . . Ignorance is Bliss. The Boogeyman is everywhere. Good luck and good sailing.

Bull! You are just fear monging and trying to wrap it up as somethng else.

I've traveled a lot and not to the nice tourist places and never been any more worried that when in the old USA.

There are lots of Boogeymen around check a mirror for one.
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:08   #42
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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Yeah, hard to argue with stat's but, I can tell you after living there for 25 years (no longer) the streets do not "feel" safe like they did in the beginning. You used to be able to go to the seafair parade as a family thing, now, it feels like a "rave". Bands of young people running around doing menacing things... kinda like last May Day in Seattle. The Bums have become very aggressive (in general-not all) unlike their polite demeanor in the past. I'll go with my gut.

If you look a little further down that page of statistics, you'll find that Seattle in above (sometimes twice) the national average. Also, there is this statement, not sure what that means: "City-data.com crime index counts serious crimes and violent crime more heavily. It adjusts for the number of visitors and daily workers commuting into cities."



Read more: Crime in Seattle, Washington (WA): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers statistics


I have a finger on the beating pulse of crime here in Seattle, and I can tell you the stats don't lie. Crime is trending way down in the last two decades. It just seems less safe because of the nature of the remaining crime, like random spree shootings. There have been a great many here lately. So the likelihood of having your house broken into or being carjacked are way down. Chances of being shot in some freak incident are way up (though still minuscule).
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:15   #43
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
That is interesting, but it doesn't tell us about crimes against cruisers, and I doubt there are any accurate statistics on that--way too small a number, so it will be completely off the radar of any officials. There are occasional incidents against cruisers in the Caribbean, but I wonder how the number would compare if you took that same population and looked at the statistics for a similar group of people living in the cities where the cruisers came from? In other words, crime happens everywhere, but if you or I gets mugged in Philadelphia or Boston it will barely make the news, but if we get mugged in St. Lucia it is broadcast all throughout the cruisers' communication grapevine.

Bottom line, if you are worried about crime it is very easy to avoid any even remotely questionable area. Head up to New England in the summer and your greatest danger will be getting boarded by mosquitoes at sunset.

Kettlewell, I suppose the reason is that it would make no statistical sense to break down the categories and/or victims of crime when one is attempting to describe the extent and impact of crime in any country and/or region. The UN article is quite clear how this rise of crime over the last eleven years has impacted the local economies. Whether it be cruisers, land tourists, or local inhabitants, the impact is devastating and clear. Should we assume that cruisers are immune from crime since they are not specifically mentioned as a group. No other groups are mentioned but the generic term "tourist" is the defining topic. These communities in the Caribbean need to understand the connection between safe tourism and economic stability in their countries since there is little or no manufacturing or outsourcing and their lives depend upon the amount of money spent in their country by tourists. Look at the impact of crime in Jamaica--$529 million dollars of lost tourist revenue! How much better would the people live with that huge infusion of money into their country. I find it interesting that some people are willing to throw all caution to the wind and ignore facts and reality. I cannot see how it would be a pleasurable experience for Ma and Pa cruisers in their 60's and 70's to fear for their lives, whether real or imagined, everytime they left their boat and went ashore or hauled their dinghy before retiring for the night. And, there is much wisdom in your comment about cruising in New England or other areas outside our country with a civil population where the potential for a serious and devastating crime against the person is practically non-existent. I believe, in the future, many people will forego areas of danger and opt for those places that appreciate their presence, their tourist dollars in exchange for a implied promised safety. For the others, if a thrilling and dangerous Outward Bound Experience is your soup du jour with your 110 pound septuagenarian wife and a husband on a monthly regimen of testosterone injections, go for it. Forget the stastistics, it won't happen to you. As for me, I'll bid you farewell while sipping a Stolichnaya on the rocks with an ebbing sunset and a lovely violin concerto by Bach against the slowly falling breeze. Good luck and good sailing. The Boogeyman
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:53   #44
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

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....There are lots of vested interests in our rich societies that benefit from a perceived rise in crime, and therefore a real rise in fear:
  • Politicians and governments whose platforms are based "getting tough with crime."
  • Law enforcement, whose budgets are dependent on how fearful we all feel.
  • Judiciaries and penitentiary systems that require plenty of criminals to process.
  • Lawyers ... don't get me started on lawyers...
  • Insurance companies who prey on irrational fears, and who weasel their way into becoming mandatory requirements.
  • Private security companies whose profits are directly linked to how scared everyone is of each other.
  • The makers of gated communities, be they on land or on the water.
... the list could go on.

....
The most obvious missing item from this list is gun manufacturers, gun lobbyists, and gun fetishists.

Using the same yardstick as those cited by some in this thread for the 'demonstrable' increase in crime everywhere (namely media + anecdote + gut feeling) would suggest that if you add up these three constituencies in certain parts of the world, they add up to over 100% of the population.

And given the saturation of that population with guns and ammo, it would not be surprising if the same mindset did not seek to propagate itself globally, seeking new markets.

One could be forgiven for wondering if one should be more concerned in the future about the risks of cross-fire or misidentification from white-knuckled fellow cruisers from those certain parts, than about the risk posed by disaffected locals.

I console myself by reflecting on the unreliability of the yardstick, on both topics.
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Old 30-04-2013, 18:23   #45
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Re: Personal Safety and Cruising

Maybe we should all carry guns.
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