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2010vaca Oct 28th, 2010 06:09 PM

suggested precautions visiting St. Martin
Before planning a vacation, check the US State Department's website for crime at your destination. After our incident , on Crime in St Martin thread, I wrote to the State Dept and my local congressman. He sent me the following link for St. Martin:
The information seemed current and accurate. Our recommendation is to use your wall safe, lock your doors and don't walk around with anything valuable, don't leave anything in your rental car. Before you travel, get the phone numbers of the US Consulate and other information available on the US government website. We have travelled extensively in the Carribean and Mexico, even Belize and never thought about safety or crime. We will never travel without proper information again. Safety is #1 in our book.
The beaches are beautiful, but we couldn't enjoy them. We just hope other tourists do and that the crime we were victims of never happens again.

DavidSXM Oct 29th, 2010 05:26 AM


I believe that I am correct in thinking that your unfortunate experience occured EIGHT years ago - right ?

It would be interesting to know just why you are visiting the subject again right now ?

Since your problem occurred so long ago, many changes have been made to the level of cooperation (which formerly was to all intents and purposes non-existant !) between the Dutch and French law enforcement agencies.

As a result, life is no longer quite so easy for the small criminal element - some of whom merely visit SXM with intent to rob then return to their home island immediately after having done so.

Before, it was easy for them to commit their crimes on one side of the island and then escape to the other side of the border. It is not so now. The new order is having a positive effect.

It is pointless trying to pretend that there is NO crime on the island but, of the - literally - millions of tourists (counting the cruise passengers) who visit each year, only a very small number suffer a bad experience.

It is regrettable that virtually the only persons who post on sites such as this are the very few - percentage-wise - who have suffered. The millions of others who have thoroughly enjoyed their stay don't bother to post.

Not surprisingly, this fact distorts the true picture, and can scare some people into thinking that the island is really dangerous, when in fact the number of visitors who have something nasty happen to them is extremely small, and crime on the island is probably no worse than in many other Caribbean tourist destinations.

For the benifit of anyone who IS scared by this, or similar posts, there is NO American Consulate on the island. The American Consulate-General, Willemstad, Curacao is also responsible for St Maarten/St Martin.

blamona Oct 29th, 2010 06:07 AM

In defense of 2010vaca, they originally posted their recent experience by pulling up an old (8 year old) post.

2010vaca,to have gotten your point across better, you needed your own new post, like you did this time. Pulling up a post that's years old did you no favors.

I'm sorry you had that experience, terrible it happened to you.
You give good advice, and I would take that advice anywhere in the world you visit, and even at home where I live. Times have changed, with bad world economies all the bad guys have come out.

Increased crime is not going to stop me from traveling anywhere, but thank you for the reminder to be cautious any where in the world.

DavidSXM Oct 29th, 2010 10:06 AM

Hi blamona

I hear you, but why suddenly bring this up again EIGHT years later, during which time many things have changed on this island ?

Talk about 'stale news' !!

blamona Oct 29th, 2010 11:34 AM

Dave, it wasn't their original post, they brought up someone else's that was 8 years old. Maybe did a search for someone else's crime experience and only came up with one 8 years old?

Actually sounds like good stats to me, if you had to search 8 years to find something on the topic.

Again, everyone should be careful any place in the world.

I for one, love St. Martin and it won't keep me from returning. I would use those precautions on every island I would visit.

suze Oct 29th, 2010 01:05 PM

<Our recommendation is to use your wall safe, lock your doors and don't walk around with anything valuable, don't leave anything in your rental car.>

No kidding. But I think that's reasonable advice anywhere you travel.

DavidSXM Oct 29th, 2010 01:29 PM

The best possible advice is that WHEREVER you go on vacation just don't leave your brain at home !

It's very easy to get absorbed by the atmosphere, sun, booze and sand etc. but nowhere in this world - at least anywhere I know - is it now safe to leave valuables lying around, laptops on display in a rental car, doors and windows of property open or unlocked, or otherwise behave in a way that you would not at home.

I live on this island, and I see the most amazing things that some visitors do - and then act surprised if something untoward results.

Obviously these unfortunate events are not ALL due to the fact that the most basic, and common sense, precautions have not been taken, but I have to say that quite a number are.

suze Oct 29th, 2010 01:34 PM

<We have travelled extensively in the Carribean and Mexico, even Belize and never thought about safety or crime.>

Then you were simply very lucky.

I don't know the background of this case, but I hate to see an island's reputation called into question, if in fact a bad thing happened due to visitors carelessness.

welch Oct 30th, 2010 11:31 AM

Although I completely agree that caution is always advised, this is beginning to sound a little like the victim is at blame.
I understand those who would feel defensive toward an island or area they love but, whatever the situation, the victim is not to blame in a crime!
I think it's really important to remember this (and no, I am fortunate enough not to have been a victim).

DavidSXM Oct 30th, 2010 05:43 PM


I agree with what you say - to a degree.

Yes, I openly admit to being defensive of the island on which I live, but really an awful lot of the 'horror stories' which are posted do relate to situations when the person(s) concerned have been, perhaps, just a little bit careless - or worse.

I in no way wish to belittle any of the bad experiences which are related, but I really DO think that it is completely irresponsible (not to mention quite stupid) to bad mouth a destination just because THEY have had a bad experience which sometimes (though I hasten to add, perhaps not in the case of 2010vaca, because we are STILL not fully aware of the entire background of what happened EIGHT YEARS ago) and to suggest that this island is not a safe place not to visit.

As I have made very clear in my previous posts on this thread (and on others) the incidence of these unfortunate happenings - compared with the very significant number of visitors who come here and enjoy their stay without problem - is minimal, but there are always the 'vociferous few' who make it sound as if these things happen every day on this island.

The vast majority who thoroughly enjoy their vacations on the island, unfortunately, don't bother to post !

I strongly suggest that a degree of sanity should prevail !

suze Oct 31st, 2010 08:45 AM

well I for onen don't know a thing about St. Martin or have any feelings for the island. It's just the advice posted is of course what you should do anywhere in the world to avoid tempting fate. Even when you're smart and take every precaution, sometimes stuff still happens. But you can increase your odds by being careful.

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