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Is Barbados Safe?


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Ariana Close



Welcome to Barbados, a Caribbean paradise known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. As you plan your trip to this beautiful island, you may be wondering about the safety and security measures in place. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the safety considerations when visiting Barbados.


Barbados is generally considered a safe travel destination with a low crime rate. The local government and authorities prioritize the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike. However, it is always wise to take precautions and be aware of potential risks, as you would in any other destination.


Whether you’re exploring the lively capital of Bridgetown, lounging on the pristine beaches of the Platinum Coast, or immersing yourself in the island’s rich history and culture, understanding the safety landscape will allow you to have a worry-free and enjoyable experience.


In the following sections, we will delve into the crime rate in Barbados, provide essential tourist safety tips, discuss transportation safety, touch on natural disasters, outline the availability of health and medical facilities, and provide emergency contact information. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the safety measures in place in Barbados.


Safety Overview

When it comes to safety, Barbados is considered a relatively safe destination for travelers. The country takes pride in providing a secure environment for both residents and visitors. The government has implemented various measures to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on the island.


The local police force, known as the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), is responsible for maintaining law and order. They have a visible presence throughout the island and work diligently to ensure the safety of the local population and tourists alike.


There are also tourism police officers who specifically cater to the needs of tourists and provide assistance and information. They can be identified by their distinctive uniforms and can be found in popular tourist areas, providing an extra layer of security and peace of mind.


It’s important to note that like any other destination, petty crimes such as theft and pickpocketing can occur, especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. Therefore, it’s recommended to exercise caution and be mindful of your belongings at all times.


Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid walking alone in secluded or unfamiliar areas during late hours. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, and if you’re unsure about a specific neighborhood or location, it’s always best to seek local advice or travel in groups.


The local authorities have also implemented safety measures to address road traffic accidents. They regularly enforce traffic laws and conduct roadside checks to ensure drivers adhere to speed limits and other regulations. It’s essential to abide by these rules and drive defensively to ensure your safety on the roads.


Overall, by being vigilant and taking common-sense precautions, you can enjoy a safe and pleasant stay in Barbados. With the support of the local authorities and the welcoming nature of the locals, you can explore the island with confidence and peace of mind.


Crime Rate in Barbados

Barbados has a relatively low crime rate compared to many other Caribbean destinations. The country takes the safety of its residents and visitors seriously and has implemented measures to combat crime and maintain a secure environment.


The most common types of crimes reported in Barbados are petty theft, bag snatching, and pickpocketing. These incidents often occur in crowded areas or tourist hotspots, so it’s important to remain cautious and keep a close eye on your belongings.


It’s worth noting that violent crimes against tourists are rare in Barbados. However, as a general safety precaution, it’s advisable to avoid flashing valuable items like expensive jewelry or carrying large sums of cash. Keeping your belongings secure and taking extra care in public places can significantly reduce the risk of petty crimes.


The local authorities have implemented various initiatives to combat crime and ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike. The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) plays a pivotal role in maintaining law and order. They have a visible presence throughout the island and employ community policing strategies to build strong relationships with locals and visitors.


Barbados also benefits from the Neighbourhood Watch Program, which encourages residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the police. This community-based approach has been successful in keeping crime rates low and fostering a safe environment.


If you do find yourself a victim of a crime, it’s essential to report it to the police immediately. The local authorities take such incidents seriously and have established procedures to deal with these situations promptly.


By staying informed, taking necessary precautions, and remaining mindful of your surroundings, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to crime while enjoying the beauty and hospitality of Barbados.


Tourist Safety Tips

While Barbados is generally a safe destination, it’s essential to take some precautions to ensure your safety during your visit. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Stay in well-populated and well-lit areas: Stick to busy streets and avoid walking alone in secluded or unfamiliar areas, especially at night.
  2. Keep your belongings secure: Use a money belt or a secure bag to carry your valuables and keep them close to your body. Avoid leaving your belongings unattended or in plain sight.
  3. Be cautious of your surroundings: Stay aware of the people around you and be mindful of any suspicious behavior. Trust your instincts and, if something feels off, move to a safer location.
  4. Secure your accommodations: Ensure that your hotel or rental property has adequate security measures in place, such as locks on doors and windows. Use the hotel’s safe to store your valuables when you’re not using them.
  5. Use reputable transportation services: Opt for licensed taxis or trusted transportation providers. If you’re renting a car, make sure it’s from a reputable agency and familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws.
  6. Protect your sensitive information: Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks and avoid accessing personal or financial accounts while connected to unsecure networks. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.
  7. Respect the local culture: Familiarize yourself with the customs and traditions of Barbados to avoid inadvertently offending the locals. Follow dress codes when visiting religious sites, and be mindful of the customs of the island.

By following these safety tips, you can have a worry-free and enjoyable experience while exploring the beauty and charm of Barbados.


Transportation Safety

When traveling in Barbados, it’s important to prioritize transportation safety to ensure a smooth and secure journey. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose reputable and licensed transportation providers: Whether you’re taking a taxi, hiring a car, or using public transportation, make sure to use authorized and reputable providers. Licensed taxis typically have a “Z” insignia on their license plates, indicating that they are registered with the government.
  2. Follow local traffic laws: Familiarize yourself with the driving rules and regulations of Barbados if you plan to rent a car or scooter. Keep in mind that driving is on the left side of the road, and always obey speed limits and any other traffic signs.
  3. Be cautious of road conditions: Some roads in Barbados may be narrow, winding, or poorly maintained. Exercise caution and adapt your driving accordingly, especially in rural areas. Watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, and animals that may share the road.
  4. Secure your belongings in vehicles: Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight inside your vehicle. Keep your belongings locked in the trunk or glove compartment, or take them with you when you park the vehicle.
  5. Use seat belts and child restraints: Ensure that all passengers, including children, are properly restrained with seat belts or appropriate child safety seats. It is required by law to wear seat belts while driving in Barbados.
  6. Pay attention to public transportation safety: While Barbados has a reliable public transportation system, it’s always advisable to be cautious. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded buses or vans, and be mindful of your surroundings.
  7. Stay updated on road conditions and closures: Check for any road closures or traffic advisories before embarking on a journey, as weather conditions or special events may impact the accessibility of certain routes.

By following these transportation safety tips, you can ensure a secure and hassle-free experience while exploring the beautiful sights of Barbados.


Natural Disasters

Barbados, like many other Caribbean islands, is susceptible to certain natural disasters. It’s important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions. Here are some key points regarding natural disasters in Barbados:




Barbados is located in the hurricane belt, and the Atlantic hurricane season typically runs from June to November. While the island has a well-established infrastructure and emergency response system, it’s important to stay informed about weather conditions and heed any advisories or evacuation notices issued by local authorities.




Barbados is located in a seismically active zone, but major earthquakes are rare. However, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the safety procedures in case of an earthquake. If you feel a tremor, seek shelter under sturdy furniture or in a doorway until the shaking stops.




Barbados is at a relatively low risk of tsunamis. However, it’s still important to be aware of the signs of a tsunami and know the evacuation routes to higher ground in case of an emergency. Pay attention to tsunami advisories issued by local authorities and follow their instructions.


Volcanic Activity:


Barbados is not located near any active volcanoes. The closest volcanic activity is around 100 miles away in the Lesser Antilles. However, it is always advisable to stay informed about any potential volcanic activity in the region if you plan to visit other islands nearby.


It’s recommended to monitor local news and weather updates, carry a charged mobile phone for communication purposes, and have an emergency supply kit that includes essential items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.


While natural disasters can be unpredictable, the local authorities in Barbados are well-prepared to handle emergencies and ensure the safety of residents and visitors. By staying informed and following the guidance of local authorities, you can mitigate the risks associated with natural disasters.


Health and Medical Facilities

Barbados boasts a well-developed healthcare system, with several medical facilities and clinics spread across the island. Here’s what you need to know about health and medical services in Barbados:


Healthcare System:


The healthcare system in Barbados is of a high standard, with public and private healthcare facilities available. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown is the largest and most comprehensive hospital on the island. There are also several private medical clinics and hospitals that provide quality healthcare services.




Pharmacies, known as “drugstores” in Barbados, can be found throughout the island. They stock a wide range of over-the-counter medications and other essential healthcare products. Pharmacists can also provide advice on minor ailments and help fill prescriptions.


Health Insurance:


It’s important to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses when visiting Barbados. In case of any unforeseen medical emergencies or accidents, having adequate insurance will give you peace of mind and ensure that you receive the necessary treatment without financial burden.


Emergency Medical Services:


In case of a medical emergency, dialing 511 or 911 will connect you to the emergency services in Barbados. Trained paramedics will respond promptly and provide emergency medical assistance. It’s important to provide accurate details of the situation and your location when making an emergency call.




Prior to traveling to Barbados, it’s advisable to check the recommended vaccinations with your healthcare provider. Routine vaccines such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, and influenza should be up to date. Additionally, depending on your travel history and activities, vaccines for diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid may be recommended.


Water and Food Safety:


The tap water in Barbados is generally safe to drink, but if you prefer, you can opt for bottled water, which is widely available. When dining out, choose restaurants that maintain good hygiene practices, and avoid consuming raw or undercooked food. Use caution when purchasing street food and ensure it is prepared and handled safely.


By being aware of the healthcare facilities available in Barbados, taking necessary precautions, and having appropriate insurance coverage, you can enjoy a worry-free trip while knowing that your health needs are well taken care of.


Emergency Contacts

When traveling to a new destination, it’s crucial to have access to emergency contacts in case of any unforeseen situations. Here are the essential emergency contact numbers in Barbados:

  1. Police: Dial 211 or 1-119 for immediate police assistance in case of any emergencies, crimes, or safety issues.
  2. Emergency Medical Services (EMS): Dial 511 or 911 to reach the EMS in case of medical emergencies, accidents, or the need for immediate medical assistance.
  3. Fire Service: Dial 311 or 1-118 to report fires or seek help from the fire service in case of fire-related emergencies.
  4. Embassies and Consulates: Keep the contact information of your country’s embassy or consulate in Barbados for assistance related to travel documents, passport issues, or other unforeseen circumstances that may arise during your stay.
  5. Coast Guard: Dial 311 or 1-600 to reach the Barbados Coast Guard in case of maritime emergencies, accidents, or distress situations at sea.
  6. Poison Control: Save the contact number for the Poison Control Center, which is 246-437-1600. They can provide guidance and assistance in case of poisoning emergencies.
  7. Emergency Roadside Assistance: If you have a rental car or experience a breakdown on the road, contact your rental car company or the local emergency roadside assistance service for help and support.

It’s recommended to save these numbers in your mobile phone or keep them easily accessible during your stay in Barbados. If possible, make a note of the addresses and locations of nearby medical facilities, police stations, and your accommodations.


In case of an emergency, stay calm and provide as much information as possible to the emergency services operators. Be clear about the location and nature of the emergency to ensure a swift and appropriate response.


By being prepared and having access to important emergency contact numbers, you can have peace of mind and assurance that help is just a phone call away, should the need arise.



Barbados is a stunning destination that offers a wealth of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. While maintaining a relatively low crime rate, the island prioritizes the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike. By taking simple precautions and being aware of potential risks, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Barbados.


The local authorities, such as the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), are committed to maintaining law and order, ensuring a secure environment for everyone. Tourist safety tips, such as staying in well-populated areas and securing your belongings, can further enhance your safety while exploring the island.


When it comes to transportation, choosing reputable providers and adhering to traffic rules are essential. Being mindful of potential natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, can help you stay prepared and follow the guidance of local authorities during such events.


Barbados also boasts quality healthcare facilities and a well-developed healthcare system. Knowing the contact information for emergency services, embassies, and consulates can provide you with peace of mind in case of any unforeseen situations.


Remember to respect the local culture, abide by the customs of the island, and stay informed about any travel advisories or health recommendations. By following these guidelines, you can fully enjoy the beauty, culture, and warmth that Barbados has to offer.


So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the tropical paradise of Barbados, and create cherished memories with the confidence and reassurance of a safe and secure experience.