Antigua and Barbuda: Murder rate higher than in New York
FOUNDED as a British colony by Admiral Horatio Nelson in 1784, Antigua and its twin island of Barbuda have a reputation for peace, tranquillity and luxury.
Oprah Winfrey has a home there, as does Sir Richard Branson, Georgio Armani and Eric Clapton.
But while Antigua does not have the difficulties of other Caribbean islands, there has been a steady increase in crime which has left the authorities concerned.
The murder of Catherine Mullany is the ninth to take place on the island this year. Last year, there were 19 murders in Antigua and Barbuda.
Around 330,000 British holidaymakers visit the islands every year and tourism is responsible for 75 per cent of the islands' economy.
The English-speaking islands became a Commonwealth country in 1967 and declared independence in 1981.
The government is trying to encourage more visitors, with a push towards high-end luxury and ecological tourism.
However, the increase in the numbers of rapes, robberies and murders is causing concern. Local newspapers have recently carried reports concerning an increase in robberies and a serial rapist linked to 40 crimes over two years.
And with only 69,000 residents, the island now has a murder rate per head of population which is three times that in New York.
Earlier this year, a former Canadian Mountie, Gary Nelson, was brought in to head the islands' police force. Mr Nelson was recruited after the government concluded the police force was badly in need of modernisation.
The Foreign Office has updated its advice for travellers, stating: "There has been a recent increase in robberies of tourists in Antigua. Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery.
"Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West