By the middle of the year 2007, the country had already recorded 42 murders. The murder count for 2010 was 96. Police statistics will show that most murders are linked to domestic violence or gang related disputes, mostly fuelled by competition in the illegal drug trade. In 2011 the Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force stated that the vast majority of murder victims in New Providence Nassau, were already well known to police. A report done by an international body stated that The Bahamas ranks amongst the top for crimes committed against women. However, to maintain good local and international relations, the police have increased their presence and the judicial system vowed to bring about "swift justice".
Visitors should exercise caution and good judgement when visiting The Bahamas. Violent crime has increased in the recent past, and the American Embassy has received several reports of sexual assaults on American tourists, including teen-aged girls.
If you require a visa to enter the Bahamas, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission or consulate in the country where you legally reside if there is no Bahamian diplomatic post. For example, the British embassies in Al Khobar (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Amman (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Belgrade (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Budapest (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Damascus (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Guatemala City (http://ukinguatemala.fco....), Helsinki (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Jakarta (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Jeddah (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Kiev (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Moscow (http://www.ukvac-ru.com/i...), Phnom Penh (http://ukincambodia.fco.g...), Prague (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Pristina (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Qatar (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Rabat (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Riga (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Riyadh (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Rome (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Sofia (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Tallinn (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Tashkent (http://ukinuzbekistan.fco...), Vienna (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...), Warsaw (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...) and Zagreb (http://www.ukba.homeoffic...) accept Bahamian visa applications this list is not exhaustive. British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Bahamian visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in the Bahamas require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in the Bahamas can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.
Travellers returning to the United States from the Caribbean must display their passport to get back into the States. This applies to minor children as well as adults. US immigration pre-clearance facilities are available at Nassau and Freeport.
While English is the official language of the Bahamas, a vast majority of the population speaks Bahamian Dialect. There are some minor regional differences from island to island in terms of pronunciation.
African influenceIn Bahamian dialect, some African words and expressions have been retained, such as:
yinna - you plural Yorubajook v. - to stab or poke Fulani.nanny -v.n.- feces or the act of defecation probably of Kongo origin, from the word nene, of similar meaningcut eye - an expression found in many Caribbean and Atlantic creoles, meaning to glare, literally squint or 'cut' your eyes /roll your eyeJumbay - ghost, related to the Kongo word nzumbi of similar meaningYam - to eat, still in use in some southern and eastern islands, related to the African word nyam'Bey - meaning boy or a young boy or young lady
It is illegal to import a firearm or ammunition into The Bahamas or to possess a firearm in the country without appropriate permission. Tourists who arrive by private boat are required to declare firearms to Bahamian Customs and leave firearms on the boat while in The Bahamas. Penalties for illegal possession of a firearm or ammunition are strict, and can involve heavy fines, lengthy prison terms, or both.
Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Bahamian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Police enforcement is aggressive in tourist areas, as drug dealers are known to frequent areas where tourists congregate. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Bahamas are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.