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#76670 - 11/24/03 04:44 PM Crime  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 20
divedoc Offline
divedoc  Offline
Count down time until our first visit-- all set to go but just read on another section of the board that there is a serious problem w/tourists
being robbed at gunpoint on the beach, as well as in house robberies- one while the owner was sleeping. Am I reading this wrong or should I be concerned? Just got the fam convinced that this will be a great trip--and many of you expressed that AC is safe if good sense is used so just want to make sure that a romantic stroll on the beach is a good idea. Thanks for all the info.

#76671 - 11/24/03 07:00 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,001
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
I wouldn't sweat it. Go - have fun !

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
#76672 - 11/24/03 07:18 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,458
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
You are much safer here than you ever would be walking to the convenience store in most major cities. Those were isolated incidents well off the beaten path. I have never felt unsafe walking the beaches in town at anytime of night or day.

#76673 - 11/24/03 08:17 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
I walk up and down the beach at all hours of the day and night, often alone. I'm not saying that's the smartest thing to do, but I've never had any problems. It's the same as at home, use common sense, keep your spidey senses on alert, don't walk into trouble.

Now go and enjoy yourself. It's going to be just great and just fine. Leave your cares and woes at your departure airport.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#76674 - 11/24/03 08:32 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 20
divedoc Offline
divedoc  Offline
Oh thanks so much for the right answers---finally my wife has started to pack and this time next week we will be there - can't wait. You're so right, our cars have been broken into here in hillbilly heaven so stuff happens, everywhere. Perhaps we will bump into you good folks next week. Divedoc

#76675 - 11/24/03 10:42 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 280
kippe Offline
kippe  Offline
With the risk of now being slaughtered, again, on this board, I have to put in my five cents on the crime issue. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine here, a young man that would be considered beach trash by some, asked me to write and warn people about whom they deal with on the island, to be more cautious, and how the locals feel about all the gringos that come here, looking for who knows what, weed, cocaine, you name it, and how many feel about the fact that most of the island's best beach properties are being bought up for incredible amounts of money, huge homes are being built, just to have the owners stay a few months here and there, begging to be robbed and their houses broken into, most of the owners being Americans. My purse was stolen twice in New York, my watch was cut right off my arm in Morocco, my parents' apartment in Sweden was broken into in the middle of the day, crime exists everywhere! Why shouldn't it in Belize and on Ambergris Caye? I have lived here on and off for two years and yes, I had my purse stolen at Fido's, I stupidly left it on the bar, but I have never been robbed but I was threatened once, I told my friends about it and the kid apologized! But then again, I live in a small apartment and am not interested in drugs of any kind, don't have a money tree growing in my back yard and use the same caution I would anywhere else and share what little I can and constantly harp about the dangers of crack. You talk about bars and dogs and husband and wife teams, triggered lights, to me it sounds like some are trying to build fortresses here! If you decide to move to a country like Belize, where most people are happy to have a job and a roof over there heads, living on very little money, working their butts off, and visitors come looking for drugs, I am sorry, crime is being bred! Why work so hard for so little, when you can make easy money running drugs for visitors? Why work so hard when there are houses sitting empty most of the time, full of treasures that can be sold? Obviously the owners have something to share that can be easily replaced, shipped in a container from the States. Yes, thiefing is a big problem and it will become worse before it gets better, as the tourism industry hopefully continues to grow. And the drug issue has to be dealt with and hopefully will as the police force grows stronger, but for as long as known crack heads and other bad elements are running around getting their rocks from money they make, running drugs for visitors and robbing people's homes, the situation will not change. “Why”, you might ask, “are they allowed to be around”? Because in a way they are providing a service for the visitor, that's way! So yes, we are dealing with two issues here, one created by the abundant drug supply on this island, much of which is sold to visitors, the other resentment from the local population. As a dear friend of mine said, “I am a Belizian and soon I will have to have an American passport to be on this island”. So if you come here and want to live a peaceful life, don't flaunt what you have, make friends within the local population, share a little, support the efforts that are being made to keep the crime situation under control, eat in restaurants owned by locals now and then, get involved in local projects, show the Belizian people that you care about their country and their well fare, that you want to be a vital part of a growing country and you will see a big change in how you and your property are treated. Word gets out quickly here, the coconut telegraph is alive and well! Most people on the island are as upset about the drug situation as the expats are that live here, but they are much more realistic and knowledgeable about what is really going on. And most of them don't live in isolated homes up North or way down South, the areas that seems to be the most targeted. And if you look closely, you will probably find that the situation gets worse in the off-season, when people are being laid off and the money is plain not there for many. It is indeed a sad situation, this a lovely country, run over by immigrants from surroundings countries, where the situation is so much worse, jobs being taken from the local population, but hopefully the situation will never get as bad as it is in Jamaica, Guatemala and other countries mentioned on this board. So if you plan to visit here, don't be afraid, just cautious! Don't walk alone on the beach late at night, don't let some kid offer you his services, whether it is drugs or showing you the island, don't let anybody into your room that you really don't know, don't do anything you wouldn't do at home! It is relatively safe here, but in the end, it is up to you to keep it that way! And hold on to your drink, your purse and lock your golf cart or your bicycle! “Belize, living in a good country”. Let the sticker you will see be true and remember, music is alive and well in San Pedro!

#76676 - 11/24/03 10:44 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 280
kippe Offline
kippe  Offline
Divedoc, you will have a wonderful time here! It is indeed a special place, crime or no crime, sometimes we get carried away on this here board!

#76677 - 11/24/03 11:18 PM Re: Crime  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 716
Richard Chambers Offline
Richard Chambers  Offline
Kippe is right, prepare to relax as never before!
I've been there a couple of times and am planning to return again this next summer.
The positives so overwhelm any negatives that this place can truly be called a "Paradise"! :p

#76678 - 11/25/03 03:19 AM Re: Crime  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 759
kerry Offline
kerry  Offline
very well said, true.....

#76679 - 11/25/03 11:02 AM Re: Crime  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 96
Ms Irish Offline
Ms Irish  Offline
Kippe, they better not slaughter you because I think you gave a fair and honest answer. I've been to AC four times now, and have been asked if I wanted drugs by only one person. I said "no thank-you" and they just nodded and walked away. Also, there was just one pesty person that we had trouble shaking on one trip, but that isn't criminal.

I live in a normal, safe neighborhood, but I am still careful and set my house alarm at night, I don't bring strangers back to my house and I don't walk alone in vulnerable places. You have to find the balance between having fun and relaxing, and being street smart and keeping your eyes open.

I love AC, and will be coming back for visits for years to come. smile

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