Crime and violence have been a persistent challenge for Trinidad and Tobago. High rates of violent crime and troubling levels of other forms of social violence (assault, theft, gender-based violence) are mostly centralised in “hotspot” areas or targeted toward members of vulnerable groups. However, there has been an increase in cases of criminal activity against the general public so security authorities urge persons to be vigilant and exercise caution in everyday activities. Visit the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service website to learn more.
In case of facing any risk, call 999 or head to the nearest police station.
Police Response 999
Fire Service 990
Ambulance 990 or 811
Here are some recommendations, which may help to prevent situations of risk:
- Do not carry valuable items openly (jewelry, camera, laptop, mobile phone). Be discreet while handling money, even in banks.
- Walk through illuminated areas and avoid taking dark or dingy short cuts or walking through parks alone.
- For men, it is advisable to keep your wallet in the front pocket and for women, it is better to carry the handbag cross-body and placed the front.
- Be advised that pepper-spray and tasers are illegal items for the general public in Trinidad and Tobago.
When using the public transport:
- Wait for the bus, taxi or maxi in a well-lit zone where there are other persons waiting.
- Try to sit close to the driver, especially if there are only a few passengers traveling in the vehicle.
- Try not to fall asleep.
- When exiting from the vehicle, be attentive to who is exiting with you or who is nearby.
- If you are taking a taxi/maxi, we recommend you to use official taxis/maxis (The license plate number begins with an H – e.g. HBB 0000). Taxis are shared in Trinidad and Tobago so be vigilant of other passengers. It is recommended that women do not travel in vehicles where there are predominantly men.
If you are driving a car or a motorcycle:
- When leaving or reaching home, be attentive that there are not suspicious persons around.
- Do not leave the car running while opening or closing the gate of the house.
- If you are travelling in a car, always lock the doors.
- Do not carry of leave valuable items visibly within the car. For example, a purse or laptop.
- Try to change your route periodically. Avoid taking the same route every day.
- Before going to sleep or leaving the house, make sure that everything is locked.
- Ensure that the area where you live (whether a room, apartment or house) has good locks, gates, and grills to protect the windows.
- The doors leading outside must always be locked.
- Do not open the door to strangers.
N.B. On a general basis, we recommend that you always be attentive to your surroundings and avoid risky situations. If you are a victim of assault, remember that your life is the most important. Do not resist. Hand over what is being asked of you.
If you face any danger, call 999 or head to the nearest police station. It is important that you report any danger or threat to the police, to UNHCR and to LWC.
Trinidad and Tobago has frequently escaped the impact of major devastating hurricanes, however, the country does experience periodic severe storms, lightning strikes, flash flooding and landslides. The population is urged to heed tropical storm warnings.
The country also experiences a lot of seismic activity (tremors and earthquakes). The recommendations below can help you in case of a natural disaster:
- If possible, always have a water-resistant backpack ready at home for emergencies. The backpack should contain a portable AM/FM radio and a small torch light (with batteries), warm extra clothes/underwear, basic medicines, canned food (for example soup, tuna etc.) and bottled water for at least three (3) days, items of personal hygiene.
- Keep important documents in sealed plastic bags (e.g. Ziploc bags) and take them with you in the event of a disaster.
- Study the place you live in, its exits and its most secure zones.
- Find out the location of your nearest emergency shelter.