In short, visitors and tourists of the Turks and Caicos Islands need not worry too much about their safety.
But, as the popular tourist information site VisitTCI.com
warns, "it depends on what you consider to be safe, what exactly you choose to do on your vacation, when you do it, and how you do it."
That doesn't mean, of course, that you shouldn't be vigilant for, like everywhere, crime exists.
Despite having relatively low crime levels, most offences on the islands are the result of opportunistic burglaries or robberies. However, at the risk of overly frightening would-be tourists, it is important to point out the existence of a particularly nasty criminal underworld fuelled by ongoing conflicts between Jamaican drug gangs and the local islanders. By remaining vigilant and not venturing out too far at night, visitors can avoid getting caught up in armed conflicts where, in the past, innocent tourists have lost their lives.
Crime levels in the Turks and Caicos Islands are relatively low. However, the level of crime on Providenciales, the first point of arrival in the Turks and Caicos Islands for most visitors and the economic center of the territory, is higher than on the other islands, where serious crime cases are less frequent. Most crimes tend to result from robberies and opportunistic burglaries, although more serious thefts against people have been reported to increase.
The Turks and Caicos Islands is one of the safest countries in the Caribbean. However, being one of the safest Caribbean countries doesn't necessarily mean a lot when you're competing with the significant crime problems of places such as Jamaica or the Bahamas.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the safest places to live and visit in the Caribbean, but with the increase in tourist numbers, there has been a slight increase in petty crime. Protect your belongings and take normal precautions to ensure your personal safety, even when using ATMs, especially at night.
The islands of North and Middle Caicos, South Caicos, Salt Cay and the smaller cays see very little crime against visitors.
Although uncommon, armed invasions of rental villas are the greatest crime concern. Our estimates are that 0 to 4 of these villa invasions happen on Providenciales every year. Staying in a hotel or resort will reduce this risk. Some villas have security guards or neighborhood patrols that lessen the likelihood of crime.
Armed robberies of pedestrians and persons are another issue. Criminals (in most cases one to two) will typically accost their victims at locations where the criminals are unlikely to be seen, demand all valuables, and then leave. Most of these robberies have occurred at dusk or after dark.
Though committed throughout Providenciales, due to the tourist density these robberies (usually tourist victims) usually happen in the Bight and the western Grace Bay areas, both on the roads and on the beach. A few are committed at the seldom visited and remote western beaches and national parks.
Thefts are the most common crime committed against visitors. These crimes are usually unattended valuables being stolen from a car (a window will often be broken if the car doors are locked) or from the beach. Although not quite as common, thefts from unoccupied hotel and resort rooms and villas do happen.
We do not have any reliable information on how often these thefts occur, but published police information suggests at least several incidents per month. One local publication simply recommends that you leave the doors to your rental car
unlocked to prevent the windows from being broken (the repair cost may not be covered by insurance).
Remote, isolated and secluded areas increase your risk of becoming a crime victim. The western half of Providenciales has very little development and several national parks and beautiful beaches are here, including Northwest Point National Park, West Harbour Bluff and Frenchman's Creek and Pigeon Pond Nature Reserve.
Most of these sites are accessed by long unpaved roads and criminals are aware of the isolation and subsequent long police response times. Although the number of reported crimes (both thefts and armed robberies) against visitors that occur annually in this remote region of Providenciales is in the single digits, it’s important to be aware that comparatively few persons visit these areas, so statistically the risk is greater. We've posted notices on the attractions which (in our opinion) pose an elevated risk.