Travelers heading to Bermuda usually think of this south Atlantic island as a safe and affluent destination, and that's mostly true. But there is crime in Bermuda just like anywhere else, and Bermuda visitors need to be mindful of their personal security -- perhaps even moreso than in a destination which has more of a reputation for crime. Although much of Bermuda's crime can be attributed to gang violence and does not directly affect tourists, it is important to be mindful of the risks of traveling to an environment that can at times be hostile and dangerous, especially depending on where specifically you go.
Crime in Bermuda
Bermuda had a spike in gun violence in recent years, which led to a strong police crackdown on illicit gun possession and gang activity. Robberies in public are still a problem, however, and while most such incidents involve local residents, tourists have also been targeted occasionally, including in their hotel rooms. With recent economic struggles across the island, it is unsurprising that there has been a rise in theft and robbery-related crimes, a trend that poses serious threats to unprepared and unaware tourists.
To avoid crime, travelers are advised to adhere to the following Crime Prevention Resources:
- In general, travel outside of tourist areas should be undertaken with caution, especially at night.
- Be vigilant when using public telephones or ATM machines, especially those located near roadsides or in secluded areas.
- As in many U.S. metropolitan areas, wearing expensive jewelry, carrying expensive objects, or carrying large amounts of cash should be avoided.
- While at the beach, visitors should safeguard valuables. Although hotels and resorts are generally safe, loss of unattended items is possible and you should have a member of your party watching over your property at all times.
- Hotel burglaries may occur in less reputable hotels, and all valuables should be locked in room safes when possible.
- Keep doors and windows locked especially at night. Burglaries of residences are generally achieved by exploiting a vulnerability such as unlocked doors and windows, substandard door and window grills, and poor or non-existent outdoor lighting.
- Travel in groups whenever possible, as traveling alone can put you at a higher risk of being targeted for crime.
The area of Hamilton north of Dundonald Street -- which is only four blocks north of the main drag, Front Street -- should be avoided by travelers, especially at night.
Road Safety in Bermuda
Bermuda visitors are not permitted to drive cars on the island, but that doesn't guarantee safety on the local roads, which are quite narrow, often lack sidewalks, and feature left-hand-side driving that is unfamiliar to many tourists. Pedestrians should be especially cautious, particularly when jogging or walking in the street.
You also should seriously weigh the risks of renting a moped which, despite its romantic association with Bermuda, will expose you to all of the road hazards mentioned above. Plus, motorcycles and scooters are a favorite target for thieves. If you do rent, avoid carrying bags on the side facing the street or in the rear basket, where they can easily be snatched by other bikers.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can hit Bermuda, sometimes causing significant damage. Read more about hurricane season in the Caribbean.
The main healthcare facility on Bermuda is King Edward Memorial Hospital. The phone number is 441-236-2345.
For more details, see the Bermuda Crime and Safety Report published annually by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.