> Know what scares the hell out of me? EVERYWHERE I
> look, I see stuff about crime on St. Martin -
> especially the Dutch side. Don't talk. Don't walk.
> Empty the trunk of your car. Empty the car. Leave
> it unlocked. Carry nothing of value. Don't go out
> at night. Don't go to a beach unless it is very
> crowded. Pay someone to watch your car while
> THIS IS RIDICULOUS! If all this is so true, I feel
> very sorry for the good people of the island. In
> all truth,if we were not already booked, I doubt I
> would waste my tourism dollars on St. Martin.
> What I would really like is to hear from some
> locals. Is all this stuff I hear true???
> If it REALLY this bad, why have you not fired
> every cop on the island and hired a force who
> could do something? This would help with both your
> safety and your INCOME since St. Martin is getting
> a very bad reputation.
As has already been suggested, I think you need to take a deep breath and rethink and reread your own posts and then read many of the long-timers' posts on this subject as well.
I would agree absolutely there is a lot written about crime, but often what is written is the same incident played, and replayed and replayed again, sometimes even to the point of having little or no resemblance to the thing first talked about; and many of the crime posts written are meant to be helpful suggestions and alerts which are often construed as absolute warnings of dire things to come.
I mean no disrespect to the posters and moderators who have direct ties to the island and I know they are very honest and forthright as well as realistic about the faults and short-comings of their island, too, but what you really need to do is pay particularly close attention to those of us who go back year after year, trip after trip for no other reason than our deep love of this place as we can not remotely be thought of as having any agenda beyond our personal enjoyment of the island, and there has to be a reason for that.
We're long time repeat visitors to St. Maarten/St. Martin and like you, when we travel anywhere new we like to know where we're going and have a sense of what its all about and be somewhat informed as to what's going on in the place we choose to vacation, but at the same time we also know that we need to take things that are posted in chat forums with a grain of salt.
I have been visiting SXM every year since 1973, often times multiple trips in a year and only once in all those vacations have we been a 'victim' of anything, and that problem was directed at our rental car and not at us. I should add, it was the exact same kind of victimization that might have happened had I parked my car in the local mall parking garage.
Things do happen, and crimes of this nature and much worse are becoming more of a problem on the island just as they are in the sleepy little area where I live in CT. Sadly, many young people are out of control today; drugs are all too prominent and add to this the influence of music, movies and TV, much of which is sending all the wrong messages, and parents who all too often are not there to set the right examples. And before you know it, all of this leads to serious problems but no more or less, IMO, in St. Maarten/St. Martin than anywhere else in the world you might choose to vacation.
I truly and honestly believe, given the number of visitors, both stay-overs and day-trippers, to the island each and every year, crime is no worse here than anywhere else you might choose to go, but for sure, it is way more publicized here than in many other places. This isn't a sleepy little island anymore and it does have plenty of media getting the word out as it should, along with forums of this nature where people can air their opinions, fears and concerns, just as we're both doing here.
I think, were I forced to make a guess, it would probably be a safe bet on my part that we've spent at least a year and a half's worth of weeks on this island over all our cumulative years, and there's no way I'd do that if I were all that concerned, which isn't to say I don't think about the problems. But I absolutely refuse to spend my life in fear of what coulda, woulda, mighta and I intend to concentrate on enjoying the hear and now in an educated and aware way.
I think it's great you're trying to familiarize yourself before you go, but please, please, please, don't make yourself crazy with all these concerns. It really is a wonderful place to vacation and the people I've been blessed to come to know over so many years are really some of the kindest and nicest people in my world. Honest!!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2010 07:00PM by pat.