From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Crime

The general security situation is unpredictable, and crime levels have continued to increase in 2017. There has been an increase in violent muggings, some of which have resulted in fatalities, in areas popular with foreign residents, such as Petionville.

You should seek advice from local contacts or established organisations and make arrangements for your safety and security throughout your stay in Haiti. You should avoid travelling alone. Travel with others, especially those with reliable local knowledge. You should avoid displaying expensive items of jewellery and other valuables, and carrying large sums of money.

Avoid parking your car on the street. Park inside secure car parks at venues such as restaurants, and avoid leaving alone if possible. Avoid travelling at night. Extra care should be taken when visiting downtown Port au Prince. See Local travel

There is a threat of kidnapping in Port-au-Prince (including Petionville). Kidnappers target those who are perceived to be wealthy, and both Haitians and foreign nationals have been victims of kidnapping. The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms for the release of hostages increases the risk of further hostage taking.

Avoid using banks or withdrawing money at cash points where you may be observed and the target of criminals. If necessary, make withdrawals from cash machines in supermarkets or hotels with security guards. Always be aware of your surroundings and who might be watching you. Gangs, often on motorbikes, target people making cash withdrawals or leaving banks, particularly those travelling on foot.

Security guards are recommended at residential properties.

Local travel

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Martissany and Bel Air neighbourhoods of Port au Prince, due to the high risk of criminal activity. UK government officials use an armoured vehicle when travelling to, and through, these areas.

If you visit low income or slum areas you may attract unwanted attention from people who assume you can help them. If you do enter these areas, don’t travel on foot, take sensible precautions and go with someone who has local knowledge and can speak Kreyol.

Be vigilant when travelling around and take the following precautions:

  • always travel with a knowledgeable and reliable guide
  • avoid all public transport and only use rented cars with a local driver from a reliable agency (Avis, Budget, etc)
  • make sure you have all the supplies you might need for your stay; fuel, food and water shortages are likely
  • be aware that the security situation in Haiti can change at short notice, so monitor local news and follow the advice of the local authorities

Road travel

Take extra care on the road between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There have been armed robberies in the Dominican Republic on roads close to the border with Haiti, including by criminals dressed as police officers.

Frequent blockades at border routes, often by disaffected drivers and traders, can make crossing difficult and can turn violent. ‘Route Nationale’ roads are subject to sudden and improvised blockades, such as burning tyres. In April 2017, Route Nationale 1, which heads north from Port-au-Prince, was subject to daily, and sometimes violent, demonstrations at Archaie. You should monitor the local news and follow the advice of the local authorities before setting out on any journeys.

If you’re crossing the border by land, be prepared for long queues at the 4 crossing points. Make sure you have all the correct vehicle documentation and cash to pay exit and entry fees. Long stretches of the route are isolated, and without mobile phone reception. Aim to complete your entire journey during daylight.

Most main routes in and between towns and cities are in good or reasonable condition, but there are exceptions – especially in remote areas where some roads can only be travelled in 4×4 vehicles and with great care.

Research your journey carefully and consult those with reliable local knowledge. You should monitor local news, and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Drainage is poor and flooding is common after rainfall. Roads are often unlit and it is not uncommon after dark to encounter cars, trucks and motorcycles driving without lights. Pedestrians also walk in the middle of unlit roads. You should drive cautiously at all times. Research your journey carefully before you set out and have back up options if needed. A UK driving licence is only valid for 3 months in Haiti. For longer stays, you should get an International Driving Permit.

A number of coach lines operate daily services between Cap Haitien and Santo Domingo, and between Petionville and Santo Domingo. The journey takes between 6 –to 8 hours.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: http://ift.tt/1629Iqu

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