To the reader from Detroit: Your first sentence said it all, "There is no difference between crime in Maryland and crime in the Virgin Islands: Crime is Crime."
But then you wrote, (1) "Maryland does not sell itself primarily as a tourist destination."
Should I infer then that visitors to Maryland should expect to encounter crime because its not just a tourist destination? And, (2) "they(tourists)want to know that they will be safe. Period."
HELLO! Sir, St. Croix is not just a tourist destination. it is also home to more than 60,000 people, many of whom spend thousands of dollars every year traveling to "tourist destinations" like Ocean City, Maryland; Orlando, Florida; Niagara Falls, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Reno, Nevada; Virginia Beach, Virginia, etc.
As tourists, they would all like to feel "safe."
Ive been to the Hawaiian Islands, Canada, Alaska, and Europe. None of these places were free of crime, nor did I expect them to be. Yet, tourists worldwide continue to visit.
We Virgin Islanders are no less concerned about safety, whether at home or abroad, than the tourists who visit our shores each year. Unfortunately, neither the V.I. government nor Police Department nor the warm and hospitable people of the Virgin Islands can give you a "guarantee of safety," and I know of no other government that can.
So my advice to you, reader from Detroit, is simply this: visit our beautiful island, enjoy our hospitality and everything we have to offer but take your head out of the sand and be realistic. Use the same safety precautions you would employ when traveling anywhere else in the world.
Marlene L. Iveans
TOURIST SAFETY CANNOT BE GUARANTEED ANYWHERE
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