On the 18th March 2013, two Britons were shot in Barbados -in broad daylight for the sake of a purse / handbag.
Whilst it is accepted that crime can happen virtually anywhere in the world, the fact that shots were fired puts this crime into a different area.
Living in London, I hear about shootings frequently. Most of these shootings are between rival gangs or simply a murder of a person known. It is unknown for a tourist to be targetted and shot at for a purse or handbag.
It is understood that the Bajan police have made an arrest. That is, of course, good but what it doesn’t do is assure potential visitors that it is safe to walk in broad daylight in Bridgetown (the capital of Barbados), or anywhere else on the island for that matter.
Recently, the number of attacks against tourists has increased in Barbados. And that is a worry because as a tourist you are a target. A tourist stands out like a sore thumb in Barbados and the risk being involved in a crime has now increased. It is not just some random person that is being targetted but the person that is travelling in a car displaying the “h” prefix, the white person on the beach that 90% of the time is likely to be a visitor to the island.
A posting over on Tripadvisor (edit 27/03/13 -> the post has now disappeared!) is now being heavily censored. I would guess it is being censored by those that like to bury their head in the sand. Making excuses that crime happens everywhere in the world and that a tourist does not have to worry about their safety in Barbados. Perhaps they work for the Bajan government or Bajan press who prefer that reports of crime are kept away from the world.
Barbados has to act and act quickly. It is quickly losing its reputation of being a safe island to travel to.
Barbados relies heavily on tourist revenue – the group of people that are being targetted by criminals on the island.
Will it stop me travelling to Barbados again? Considering that the world is a big place, it certainly wil not be the automatic first option I will take.