|By Joanne Wood on Friday, April 28, 2000 - 2:34 pm:|
Currently, there has been a week long discussion on the newsgroup alt.rec.scuba.locations about the crime problem on Bonaire. Many posters have complained about cars being vandalized and items stolen to the extent that people who have not yet visited have stated they would not want to dive at this location because of hearing of these accounts. Is crime on the island increasing? What is being done? Any local people interested in joining this discussion?
|By John Collins on Friday, April 28, 2000 - 4:40 pm:|
I'm writing as a longtime visitor to Bonaire - not a local. My advice is to use the same caution that you would at home. I certainly wouldn't leave my car parked unlocked in NYC, nor would I leave packages, etc. visible on the seats. We live about 1 1/2 hrs. north of the city and I exercise the same caution when I'm shopping at the malls here. Common sense prevails whether at home or away from home. I've always felt safe in Bonaire and I have traveled to many parts of the island on my own since my husband is the diver in our family. Carol Collins
|By sharyn spray on Friday, April 28, 2000 - 9:28 pm:|
Like John I am a longtime visitor, just back from Bonaire and I feel that these reports greatly exaggerated. I feel safer in Bonaire than I do in many areas at home (MD). We did shore dives and never had a problem, of course as John says one must use common sense and not leave things of value in youe vehicle. Part of the problem is the information highway, all it takes is one or two bad experiences they get posted and reposted on various boards and suddenly it's a crime wave. This is not to say Bonaire doesn't have it's problems, but IMHO I am safer there than at home.
|By Shelley Beban on Friday, April 28, 2000 - 10:35 pm:|
Remember, the negative posters are much louder than the positive. Recently I've had a similar experience in rec.travel.caribbean. It's probably the same handful of "victims" who won't take any responsibilty for being ripped off and need to vent and blame. I don't really know how the crime rate in Bonaire compares to other Caribbean dive destinations. I've only been to Bonaire. Again and again. Personally, I've never had any problems with crime, nor have I met anyone who has.
|By JOHN M. SGRIGNIOLI on Saturday, April 29, 2000 - 6:56 am:|
While staying at Lagoen Hill Bungalows last november,our bungalow was burglarized while we slept.Many items were stolen including cash and credit cards.The door was forced and had to be repaired the next day.This is a fact which can be verified by the Bonaire Police.Im not trying to "vent or blame" and certainly dont take any responsibility for a break in.Someone in Bonaire should print some actual crime statistics on this newsgroup or elsewhere so we can get an idea of what the truth is and not go by what someone"feels".
|By Cheryl A. Roberts on Saturday, April 29, 2000 - 8:14 am:|
We were diving last year and had our stuff in the car "looked through". The thief made off with a baseball cap and that is all. We followed the advice given on this bulletin board and felt safe at all the dive sites.
|By Joanne Wood on Saturday, April 29, 2000 - 9:28 am:|
|By Peggy Bowen on Saturday, April 29, 2000 - 9:45 am:|
As someone that hears from divers that do dive on some other islands -- this type of theft from cars left at shore dive sites seems to be a problem in several islands. Think what irks the Bonaire Tourist Board so much is that the Bonaire problem gets talked about more. BUT, there are more shore diving sites on Bonaire and on a given day, more divers leaving things. So there is more of a chance of getting ripped off I guess.
|By Antonio Ferrer on Saturday, April 29, 2000 - 10:19 am:|
The whole thing of safety in Bonaire has to be seen in a reasonable perspective. Comparisons with safe neighborhoods in the US or Europe are meaningless: a touristic area has specific safety problems, and those who don't recognize this would do better staying home (for their own sake). Touristic areas are prone to small thievery, and car break-ins are more frequent in these areas - EVERYWHERE! In fact, I have even seen, in the US, a remote and beautiful place where caution about unattended cars was advertised, and I know locations, in Europe, where cars with foreign registration plates, if unattended, are broken into - within minutes! Comparisons with other touristic locations can also be meaningless, as in most cases there is no shore diving (note that a car left at a shore dive location means the owners are 30-100 ft under water, and are not likely to "pop up" soon). In fact, in many, if not most, Caribbean tourist destinations, serious crime is a major concern, and that means armed robbery AT LEAST!
|By Cheryl A. Roberts on Sunday, April 30, 2000 - 8:10 am:|
I agree with Antonio. To me, just being on Bonaire and the kind of diving I am able to do there vs. anywhere else I have visited, the "inconvienence" of the precautions are nothing compared to the benefits/rewards of the diving. It is a small price to pay! Try Jamaica sometime where the warnings to folks are not to leave the resort "compound" or to make sure you don't take the wrong kind of taxi because they will take you a deserted place, rob you and leave you. Also, the comparison to Cozumel or Caymen can't be made....you don't do the same type of diving there.....it is all boat diving. When we go to Cozumel and snorkle, we take the same precautions with our valuables in our rental car as we do on Bonaire. Believe me, I know I will be returning year after year to Bonaire and if the threat of petty theft keeps some dive clubs away, oh well!
|By thomas brossard on Sunday, April 30, 2000 - 1:27 pm:|
Bonaire is a very safe island. Is it as idyllic as it used to be? No, but neither is anywhere else. Take the minimal precautions and most likley nothing will happen, but someone, sometime will be the unlucky one and have the bad expierience, it needs to be put into perspective, however. I have 24 visits in the last 12 years or so and have never had anything remotely bad happen on the island or on ALM (for that matter)...it's the luck of the draw...
|By lonnie hoover on Sunday, April 30, 2000 - 3:51 pm:|
crime on bonaire is a very serious problem and getting worse. petty crime began rearing it's ugly head five or six years ago and is growing exponentially. it's axiomtic that more serious crime will follow unless the government and bonarian society take an active, no holes barred, approach to curbbing the problem. Tourists are now being regularly burglarized, often while sleeping. bonaire is on a slippery slope. what's next? armed robbery? murder? how far is official bonaire preparred to let this go? it is irresponsible for officials and contributors to this newsgroup to ignore the problem. ALL CRIME, great and small, should be taken seriously and efforts should be made by those in authority on bonaire to establish a zero tollerance, law and order approach to the problem. if you are a regular visitor to bonaire and you have not been victimized by crime, count your blessings, because you soon will be, unless the government and the people of bonaire change their attitudes. barney fife said it best when he said NIP IT...NIP IT IN THE BUD... well, we are far beyound nipping it in the bud, but i can gaurantee crime will contine to grow in frequency and in seriousness until the locals make prevention a priority. finally, as a long time visitor ( 20+ in fifteen years) it is not my intent to harm the reputation of this paradise. before the paradise is turned into a waste land of crime and undesirables i make this plea to wake up and smell the roses. those of us who love bonaire must stand up and be counted and demand that the crime problem be addressed in a serious, immediate and determined way, before its too late. i look forward to responsibe comments and thoughts on this matter.
|By michael gaynor on Monday, May 1, 2000 - 8:13 am:|
Yes. Bonaire is painfully aware of what is happening and is also trying to solve the crime issue. It has been a top proirity with government for some time. Our police force has been expanded, private security has been hired to police dive sites, the Crown in Holland has been helping with advice and programs, we have a youth center whihc helpsto create public awareness in the community, arrests and aprehensions are increasing. I know that the newsgroup readers have heard this all before and feel that nothing is being done, but there is a lot that has been accomplished in terms of channges in the laws, sentencing measures, and crime detection. Agreed, prevention is also important. That is why we encourage visitors not to travel with valuable jewelry, lots of cash and also to open the windows and unlock car doors while diving. Bonaire is small and one crime is too many...
|By Anonymous on Monday, May 1, 2000 - 2:08 pm:|
Michael: there isn't any crime on Bonaire. Right. A Nonny Mus
|By michael gaynor on Monday, May 1, 2000 - 2:13 pm:|
Are blind or just cant read? I see that you are not man or women enough to print your name. Read my posting again....carefully.....then read yours.....Nowhere did I say there was no crime...get new glasses...
|By Anonymous on Monday, May 1, 2000 - 6:09 pm:|
Good for you Michael. I remember when crime on Bonaire meant someone "stealing" your bike...in fact, the bike could usually be found parked somewhere near town (usually near Karels) and the "theft" was considered more of a borrowing. Now, there are hold-ups at gun point. Anyone who doesn't believe there is crime on Bonaire is fooling themselves.
|By John W. Collins on Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 6:56 pm:|
I worked in the caribbean for 5 years. Hands down Bonaire is one of the safest. BUT, the fact is that when only 15,000 people live on the island, I am hard pressed to believe that the people or police dont know what is happening and who is doing it. Michael and Jake and the rest of the island residents would be doing the tourism bureau a big favor by every once in a while posting who has been arrested, for what, and what the sentence was. No matter what the reasons are, there is enough foul smoke going out over the net concerning the issue to think that at least a small fire isn't burning.
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, May 2, 2000 - 7:04 pm:|
|By John W. Collins on Sunday, May 7, 2000 - 12:32 pm:|
|By Linda Richter - NetTech on Sunday, May 7, 2000 - 5:07 pm:|
Attempts have been made to respond in a credible manner. But to be honest the real bad mouthers don't care about that. As far as they are concerned anybody that does not support their statements 100% are a target for threats. I personally was threatened with rape by one of the rec.scuba flamers about this subject to my personal email. Because of the anonymity offered by many facits of the internet, some people feel they can say anything they want and have no responsibility to respond politely and truthfully.
Visit: The Bonaire WebCams - Current Bonaire images and weather!
The Bonaire Insider - the latest tourism news about Bonaire
The Bonaire Information Site, InfoBonaire
Search Bonaire - Search top Bonaire Web sites