The overall crime rate in the Turks and Caicos Islands is relatively low. Crimes typically involve opportunistic petty theft. However, more serious robberies have been reported, and there were a string of armed robberies in Providenciales about which the Embassy issued a security message in March 2013. The crime level is highest on Providenciales, the territory’s economic hub and larger city. The U.S. Embassy has received a few reports of more serious crimes, including vacation home invasions, armed robberies, assaults and boat thefts.
Most visits to the Turks and Caicos Islands are trouble free, but you should nonetheless take sensible precautions against theft. Exercise caution when walking after dark or in isolated areas, such as deserted beaches, and avoid placing yourself in vulnerable situations. Never leave valuables unattended, especially on beaches. Hotel guests should always lock their doors and never open their hotel room door without first verifying the identity of the person knocking. Hotel guests should consider storing passports/identity documents, airline tickets, credit cards, and extra cash in hotel safes, but remember to take your passport with you when debarking your cruise ship. It is best to keep your passport on your person and not in a handbag in case of theft. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are available; however, visitors should try not to frequent them, especially after dark.
Visitors are advised to report crime to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force as quickly as possible. Early reports frequently improve the likelihood of identifying and apprehending suspected perpetrators.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may be breaking local law which could lead to arrest or detainment. The same is true for illicit drugs. Vendors often tell visitors that marijuana is legal. Please note this is not true and the purchase of any amount of drugs is a crime that could lead to arrest and jail time.
There is nobody better at protecting you than yourself. Beware of your surroundings at all times. The U.S. Embassy reports that victims of crime are often those who have let their guard down to individuals who appeared overly friendly or became victims after criminals targeted them as easy prey due to the visitor appearing drunk or unaware. Take some time before travel to improve your personal security—things are not the same everywhere as they are in the United States.
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