Bermuda 2019 Crime & Safety Report

The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report's publication assesses Bermuda at Level 1, indicating that travelers should exercise normal precautions.

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

The U.S. Consulate General in Hamilton does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

Review OSAC's Bermuda-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.

Crime Threats

There is minimal risk from crime in Bermuda. For the second straight year, overall incidents of crime decreased. From 2016 to 2017 (the most recent year of available statistics at the time of publishing), there were 10% fewer criminal incidents than in the year before. The 2017 tally was the lowest number of recorded crimes (3,202) since comparable records began in 2000. While crime against property (e.g. burglary, theft, fraud) and crime against the person (e.g. murder, assault, robbery, indecency) decreased, community crime (e.g. weapons offences, anti-social behavior, etc.) remained static. There were five murders in 2017 compared to seven in 2016. Three murders were the result of firearms, and two were by stabbing. Six non-fatal shootings also occurred in 2017. The most serious crimes involve gang and drug activity.

Compared to the United States, Bermuda's crime rate is low. Petty crime is most common. Valuables left unattended in public areas, in unsecured hotel rooms, or on rental motorbikes may be vulnerable to theft. Criminals target visitors on motorbikes and at popular tourist attractions, and purse snatchings (generally involving thieves on motorbikes) and muggings occur occasionally. Avoid the back streets in Hamilton and out-of-the-way areas due to greater risk of nighttime assault, particularly after bars close, and because narrow and dark roadways can contribute to traffic accidents. A good security mindset and common sense should be sufficient to prevent visitors from becoming victims of crime or violence.

Gang activity plagued Bermuda between 2009 and 2012. After a period of calm, it has shown some evidence of returning in the last two years. Gang activity is generally insular; there have been no reports of gang violence targeting visitors. Despite evidence of increasing gang tensions, overall records of firearms incidents � predominately associated to gang activity (confirmed and unconfirmed) � fell from 82 in 2016 to 47 in 2017.

The Department of State warns United States citizens against taking any type of firearm, ammunition, or component of a firearm into Bermuda. The Bermuda government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of weapons and ammunition. Entering Bermuda with a firearm, some bladed instruments, an ammunition magazine, or even a single round of ammunition is illegal, even if you bring the weapon or ammunition into the country unintentionally. You must seek permission to import or own a gun in Bermuda in advance from the Bermuda Police Service. You must secure any privately owned firearms at Bermuda Police Headquarters. Violations may result in arrest, convictions, and potentially long prison sentences. Bermuda considers pepper sprays and stun guns as dangerous weapons and classifies them as illegal.

Cybersecurity Issues

Cybercrime (e.g. identity theft, credit card fraud, and phishing) is rare in Bermuda. Be prudent and protect all personally identifiable information. Do not leave personal items unattended. For more information, review OSAC's report, Cybersecurity Basics.

Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)