Crime In The Seychelles – A reflection on being the victim of theft.
Crime in the Seychelles
It’s been about a year and a half since I wrote the post The Darker Side of Expat Life In The Seychelles and it’s still the most viewed page on my blog. I read it again the other day. It made me reflect on how I felt about being broken in to, and about crime in the Seychelles in general.
I thought I’d start writing those feelings down. I know that many of the people reading that post are researching if it’s safe to live in Seychelles and about crime in the Seychelles in general. Hopefully this post will give a bit more of a rational insight into how safe it feels to live here.
The original post was written a couple weeks after our house was broken in to while we were all asleep. Despite waiting those couple of weeks, I was still feeling very raw and vulnerable about it all.
At the time of writing I was wrestling with wanting to move from the house we were in. We have now moved. I must stress that the main reason was that Mark was promoted and we needed to be nearer to school. I was happy to move though, despite the house being made a lot more secure. When something like that happens it’s difficult to forget it. I was not sleeping properly and was paranoid about any person around. That would be the case wherever in the world it happened, of course!
Is it safe to live on Praslin?
I feel safe here. If I didn’t feel safe we would have moved on by now, without a doubt. No matter how much we love it here, or how well Mark’s career is going, our family safety will always come first.
We are all living safer though, which is important. By that, I mean we are all more aware of keeping ourselves and our valuables safe. That seems a bit ridiculous to read. I don’t mean that we ever felt like we weren’t looking after ourselves properly, but we have certainly been guilty of living naively of the fact that crime existed.
At night I still wake up thinking I can hear someone in the house, I hate that. I don’t know if that will ever go away. Maybe it’s best if it doesn’t though. Perhaps living with that fear will help to keep us safe. I hope so.
Do I think expats are targeted for crime? In short, yes. Someone did comment on the post saying that I was arrogant to think that (I chose not to publish that one!!!) I don’t think that all expats are targeted, it is a generalisation, and of course Seychellois are also victims of robberies too.
Is there a safer side of the island?
We have been in our new house for over a year now and I do feel pretty safe here. There was a feeling at the time that the side we are living now is safer. Honestly, I don’t think that is the case. I know of break ins all over the island.
Sadly a house very near to ours was recently broken into. It was a reality check and a reminder that it can happen anywhere.
What type of crime happens here?
I’m pleased to say that on Praslin (I don’t want to say for Mahe as I really don’t know!) I have not heard of any violent crime towards expats. There is very little violent crime at all. This definitely helps in feeling safer.
The main type of crime undoubtedly is theft. Mostly it will be for small easy to sell items such as hard drives, tablets, smart phones and jewellery. Perhaps the saddest thing is that things stolen are mostly sold for drug money.
Drugs are undoubtedly, a growing problem here. I’m told its worse on Mahe than Praslin. I will say that it is, by no means, at the point where you can feel or sense that when you’re out and about. I don’t ever feel unsafe when I’m out. Of course, you wouldn’t want to leave valuables lying around anywhere, but that is no different to anywhere else in the world.
Will it happen again?
I spoke to Mark about this and if he felt it would ever happen again. Sadly, we agreed, the answer to that is almost certainly, yes. The house we are living in is a lot more secure, and as I mentioned we live a lot more aware of the possibility of theft and act accordingly. But, no house is perfect and we are not perfect.
We don’t live in fear of it happening again, we lead normal daily lives. Now we just live with our eyes more open to the fact that theft happens. We keep our valuables secure and have a bit of a routine to ensure that no doors or windows are left unlocked while we are out, or at night. Nothing major, just normal sensible security. We should have done it from the start, but I don’t mind admitting that I did love that little safe bubble we felt like we lived in for the first couple of years here!