The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report's publication assesses Turks & Caicos at Level 2, indicating travelers should exercise increased caution due to crime.
Overall Crime and Safety Situation
The U.S. Embassy in Nassau does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizen Services unit (ACS) cannot recommend a particular individual or establishment, and assumes no responsibility for the quality of services provided.
Review OSAC's Turks & Caicos-specific page for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password.
There is moderate risk from crime in Turks & Caicos. Crime represents the primary security threat in Providenciales, where the vast majority of crime occurs. Royal Turks & Caicos Police (RTCIPF) statistics for 2018 highlight an overall drop in crime of 3% from 2017; murders have doubled, albeit from four to eight, in two years.
Residential security remains a major concern. An increase in burglaries remains a threat facing Turks & Caicos. Burglaries have increased by 36% from 377 in 2017 to 510 in 2018. However, robberies and firearms-related crimes are down by 17% and 48%, respectively. Do not leave belongings unsecured outside your residence. Vehicles, bicycles, generators, and other property will attract criminals. If you cannot store items inside, visibly secure them with a chain and lock as a deterrent.
The holiday season historically serves as a potential catalyst for an increase in crime and violence in Turks & Caicos. In the past year, several U.S. citizens have fallen victim to armed home invasions while in hotel rooms and private homes, as well as armed robbery while walking after dark. Two U.S. citizen victims were shot and seriously injured in 2018.
Cybersecurity is a major challenge for computer network operators across the Caribbean. There is limited technical capacity, outdated legislation, and the absence of compliance and disclosure polices. There have been increased data breaches, network attacks, and computer viruses in the region. Turks & Caicos has signaled its intent to bolster their cybersecurity framework; there is no indication of implementation. Take normal security precautions when using electronic devices.
Other Areas of Concern
Instead of carrying large amounts of cash, use a debit/credit card for payments when possible. Avoid using ATMs located in isolated areas; only use machines that have security coverage. Be particularly aware of your surroundings when making withdrawals. Skimmers create duplicate cards with stolen information, and then withdraw money from the victim's account. If you observe a skimming device on an ATM, take a picture of it (if it is safe to do so) and contact police immediately. For more information, review OSAC's report, The Overseas Traveler's Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud.
Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)