Crime, Scams & Annoyances to Avoid in Barbados

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Tourists are more likely to experience petty crime, than crime of the serious variety in Barbados.


Although Barbados generally has a lower rate of violence than it's Caribbean neighbors, it's not without dangers – especially at night.

On the bright side, police are heavily stationed around residential and tourist areas in Barbados. *breathes a sigh of relief* But you still need to keep your guard up.

A Few Crime Stats

  • Trip Advisor reports that tourists are most likely to befall robbery, petty theft, taxi fraud and getting incorrect change back on purpose.
  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom reports that 38 passports belonging to British nationals were stolen between April 2009 and March 2010.
  • People posting in a Frommer's travel forum reported incidents of robbery at gunpoint and incessant hagglers.

It doesn't seem pedlars on the island are much worse than those in other Caribbean destinations or Mexico, but prepare yourself for the possibility of some intense hassling.

St. Lawrence Gap, on the southern coast of the island, is one place to watch your back. Recent visitors there recommend older people should only go out during the day, as this part of the island can seem seedy at night.

Females Travel in Groups

Women should travel in groups and avoid walking home at night alone.

A recent traveler to the Dover beach area of St. Lawrence portion of the island, said she was chronically hissed at and called "Baby" while strolling the streets.

Other travelers said the southern coast as a whole is more of the "party" area of the island.

Anyone traveling with children, or who just isn't into a heavy nightlife scene, should probably stay at the northern end of the island.

Nightlife in Barbados

You may be offered drugs or prostitutes, and locals will try to sell you other items like souvenirs in certain areas of Barbados. The hustlers can be relentless in their offers, and beggars will often pester you for money.

Taxi drivers may also be aggressive. Some travelers say the nightlife is good due to the high amount of pubs and dancehalls. Take cabs back after a night of bar-hopping or clubbing to avoid run-ins with panhandlers, pimps and drug dealers.

Robberies and Violent Crimes

Elsewhere in Barbados, tourist groups traveling on guided tours have been held at gunpoint at least twice. On one of the occasions, the perpetrator fired his gun, but did not injure anyone.

One traveler got robbed on the beach at gunpoint after a booze cruise, but didn't specify the area. It was after having "made friends" with a local who he suspects may have been in on the crime.

The U.S. State Department reports that rapes have also occurred at Long Beach, Christ Church and Maycocks Beach, St. Lucy, during the day. Walkers and Pie Corner beaches were other sites of assaults.

Holetown on Barbados' west coast also attracted some attacks, such as rapes and robberies, during the day in late 2010. Most travelers and residents maintain that the island is very safe, but tourists should avoid empty beaches at night and other desolate areas.

If you are in a dangerous situation or fall victim to a crime, the emergency number in Barbados is 211, and of course you can always call your emergency assistance number on your travel insurance policy.


  • Dario said

    this is a load of bull crap... who wrote this ignorance anyways, prob some idiot that never been there.
    your talking about what some travellers say, thats like less than a hungred compare to the hundred thousands that go there every month....
    It's got its crime for sure but what country dosent???? name one country in the world that do no have any crimes at all...
    Alse the litttle bit of crime in Barbados is the fault of the current local government (DLP) Democratic Labour Party...
    I was born and riase there and now live in sydney australia soon to be 3 years.
    Ive been almost all around the world in countries that i never thought id ever be in
    And what I can honestly say is that there is no place like home.

  • Joe King said

    No, you're wrong there are plenty of Greg riddled Countries like Barbados.
    Barbados is a lot like Jamaica with its Drug and gang related problems, ultra violence and bad attitudes between whites and blacks. Name a few white politicians in Barbados! I can't think of any.

  • Mallory said

    When i visited as a tourist i had no problems...the day i moved here my cab from the airport denise maccoon is the driver kicked me out of her cab because she couldn't find my house, leaving my dog and all the stuff i brought in a dark dead end...she knew i had no phone service...i begged her for water for my thirsty dog at least and ahe told me to stop crying and took off...

  • Neville A Haynes said

    I grow up Barbados, and I think that it's sad when hear that a Country like Barbados Who's Economy is now base on tourism, and the Island people is currently being ripping off by the Island people and aggresative taxi drivers, if this kind of behavior continue it will bring down the Barbados economy and economic. Is there a drop in employment? I think that Barbados should bring back the sugar cane, and also retrained some Bajans to do the high technical jobs in Barbados today.
    The Bajan are very intelligent and this kind of behavior unexcited.

  • Derek Barrett said

    I considered traveling to Barbados for vacation; however, I changed my mind after reading several articles about the opportunistic crime in Barbados. I hope the tourism board, merchants, vendors, resorts and the government realize the importance of tourism to the Barbados' economy. Please crack down on the crime or your service industry will run dry and bankrupt your nation. Respectfully - Derek Barrett

  • Martin said

    I went there eight years ago for a month with my wife only four times I was approach three in soup bowl and one in maycocks they need to put more presence of police in maycocks seems very quiet there and I was approach to my car by a tall guy if I wanted to buy weed I said no and he kindly back away other than that mind your own buissness and stay way from hanging at night and you should be fine but always have a plan for protection .like anywhere in the world other than that enjoy all the bay's there very quiet and empty totally more than safe.

  • Tracy Kaler said

    My husband and I just returned from Barbados. We loved it. Other than getting lost because most roads are unmarked, we didn't experience any crime. We were approached near the Soup Bowl by one gentleman, although I'm not sure what he wanted. We told him we weren't interested and he moved on. Cab drivers in Bridgetown can be a little aggressive trying to pick up fares, but they were all perfectly polite. We stayed on the east side in Belleplaine and explored a lot of the island. We found Bajans to be incredibly friendly and helpful! We are used to watching our backs since we live in New York City, however, so no matter where we go, we stay aware and alert. I would go back to Barbados again and still stay on the east side of the island, where there's no traffic and people are friendly. It's a beautiful place.

  • Eurie said

    Most of this is a load of crock sh#t . I've been visiting beautiful Barbados for 25yr, it is such an addictive place, go once and I guarantee you'll be back year after year. Most of the locals are cool, chilled and very friendly. Sure there is some crime, there is plenty of that in UK, USA & most countries, what country doesn't. Would anyone walk along a dark secluded place at night alone whilst at home? Why would anyone risk doing it in a foreign country? Play safe anywhere, invite trouble and you risk getting some. Beautiful BIM 😊😊 can't wait to be back for Carnival in July 😁 counting down the days.

  • Scottie said

    Beware the entertainment district - St. Lawrence the Gap...

    The locals are hard hitting hustlers!!! They don't care about anything - including the fact that you may be on vacation with your girlfriend/wife... they will hit on her and say nasty things to her while you are right beside her. Not cool and no respect. Please don't fall victim to the locals. Beautiful beaches and country - too bad about the locals - they ruin it all!

  • Pauline docherty said

    The writer has obviously never been to Barbados. Been going for 15 years and never seen any troubles. Will return again next year

  • Shawn said

    I lived there for 2 years... The east coast is amazing to stay all the locals are great people and traffic is low. West and south coast has plenty hustlers of course that's where the money is at. The Barbados government is making their people suffer so they are in survival mode right now, it's really sad the government allows this. It's more sad the government allows plenty GUNS in the island for the men to be shooting eachother. Don't expect much respect while in west/south from the hustlers and expect to be harassed. All in all Barbados is great and if you meet a good local keep him close to you take care of him and he will do the same. Do for Do. Shame of Barbados government for allowing bim to get so crime full

  • Jamie Crosby said

    Currently staying on the south coast in Dover..beaches are amazing waves are great but I have to agree with the other posts about the locals..being white the locals assume your loaded and pretty much push coke up your nose and demand money. Can't even go to the market without being harassed..I like to party no doubt but it gets fucking annoying

  • RB said

    I'm in Barbados right now in St. Lawrence gap. I m a prisoner of my hotel because this is not a vacation. I don't want to even walk up the gap because my husband and I keep being intimidated by locals. I am scared and would rather stay in my room than enjoy my vacation out there.The locals are quite aggressive and are intimidating and it is not a nice place to come when you want a relaxing vacation. I will not come back especially if I need a vacation I'd rather take on my 15 hour days in another prison --- my job.

  • Gaynor Leary said

    I'm planning my 4th visit to Barbados in as many years. I travel alone and have never felt intimidated. The gap at night isnt great on your own, and yes the guys can be a bit forward, but a smile and a no thanks generally works. I get the buses, feels safer than a taxi, more people about and no arguments about fares. If you talk to the 'hustlers' most have families to feed and us tourists make their home an expensive place to live.

  • Kevin Denny said

    I have been to Barbados twice during Crop Over time and I have had no issues whatsoever. I love that place and I will be there again this week and also Crop Over again.

  • Den said

    I sold my villa on their "platinum" coast after my British neighbor's 16 year old son got murdered inside his home by a burglar. This country is not safe!

  • Shannon said

    "Beautiful beaches and country - too bad about the locals - they ruin it all!"

    Are you for real? Some of the comments are here are colonialist and alarmist at best and racist at worst.

  • JerseyGrl said

    After reading the NY Post article on the Top 25 Death Zones for Yankee travelers....i shall not be traveling to Barbados, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
    Thank you very much!

  • Vinnie said

    It should not have this happening, the place is small the police know the bastards and they should all be locked up. TOURISM IS THE MAIN INDUSTRY! 0 tolerance should be the rule! But The cops are lazy, incompetent and the NCC are Lazy and corrupt and so is the Government! Barbados is a BLACK RACIST ISLAND and White Tourists should be careful! oR STAY AWAY let's see how good they fear!

  • Andrew said

    Jersey Gal from America, the country with highest murder is concerned with that tawdry article from the NY Post, a sensationalist paper.

    Vinnie, from Staten Island, Rockways or LI, he has no black friends is crying the blues. Again an American whose country feast on hate crimes and has a gun violence death rate second to none.

    Barbados may have it issues but somehow I think those two are tainted...

  • Miss London said

    First some of these above stories are made up.
    Most of these comments people thought they would go to Barbados and the poor black man would Bow down to them.
    Understand people have to hustle to survive
    There is crime in all countries especially in America
    America has the highest crime rates in the world
    Barbados does have a gun issue
    Youth unemployment is high
    And drugs and gangs is an issue on the island
    But racism is also real
    If you are afraid of black people do not go to a Black Country
    We don't need your negativity

  • Anthony Ward said

    Interesting, for the amount of Barbadians living on the Island, there is a lot of crime coming from the poverty. As for corruption, this Island is one of the worse. You are basically talked out of making a complain of any sort! I live on the island and to date have managed to report several crimes, from embezzlement and theft to being threatened with a gun! Still no luck with arrests even with video evidenced!
    Obviously this article is fiction! You don't even get a crime number for your trouble if you manage to have your complaint logged.
    Spend your time, if your visiting, writing your plight on travel sites. This is a politically corrupt Island!!

  • Christopher Austin said

    I had an interesting experience in Barbados back in the spring of 1993 when I was only 7 years old. Today I am 31 but remember this like it was yesterday. My parents and I, along with my uncle Jeff, rented a nice apartment in the Sunset Crest resort. A couple hours after we arrived at the apartment, a guy came in and installed a safe in the master bedroom. My dad kept his wallet, travelers checks, and other valuables in there. Sometime during one of the nights that followed, someone had somehow gotten into the apartment, opened the safe, and took all the valuables in there. The good thing is that none of us woke up during the robbery. We have no idea how many people were involved. It definitely seemed to be an inside job because, when the police arrived to investigate, they noted the safe hadn't been forced open. Someone had used the correct combination to open it.

    Needless to say, my parents and my uncle had been drinking and everyone had passed out. My uncle distinctly remembers locking the doors before passing out on the couch. The police speculated that the robber(s) must have used a fishing rod or something similar to fish the keys off the coffee table in the living room. This apartment had barred windows with plastic slats, and a fishing rod could easily be slipped in there.

    Aside from this episode, we definitely had a good time during our stay, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if one of us had woken and discovered the intruders... I may have not been around to tell this story today!

  • John blackmann said

    Regularly white people get beheaded on full moons in Barbados.... Old English people especially.....

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