There are places that have a bad enough rep that it has effected cruisers behavior. St. Lucia is high on that list. However, I really like St. Lucia. Have stayed in Rodney bay without difficulties and felt quite safe. It has kind of the feel of parts of PR
where youíre extremely safe within the resort/marina but need to be careful if you wander around outside.
Dominica is the second poorest island in the entire Caribbean with only Haiti being poorer. Still, cruisers avoid Haiti but have no issues with Dominica. PAYS is having itís internal issues but they do keep you safe and the structure is such you can wander around in the interior safely.
Each island has its hotspots. The east end of Tortola can be shaky. Even inland parts on the north side of Martinique. The so called rich islands like st.martin have their spots. Know of a pickpocketing in St. Barts.
People are people. Thereís good/bad everywhere. Donís right. A bit of street sense tempered with some local knowledge and you lower (but donít eliminate) your risk.
Thereís a bit of difference in cruisers thinking about securing your boat Iíve heard and would be interested in comments.
Some think if you do everything possible you decrease your risk. Others think if they want to get in their going to get in so will do extensive structural damage to your boat. Instead of just replacing the cheapo companionway lock youíll be doing glass work or replacing hatches or other expensive work. In either case your valuables are gone. Most sailboats have a lot of good hidey holes and if used may safe some stuff from theft.
In Spanish Town saw a boat being fixed. Companionway had a steel grate with a massive lock. From the yard was told thieves took a battery powered sawsall and you could see the section of the house they cut away. Huge repair. In the lagoon at a group dinner was told about thieves using a simple curved crowbar on the hatches. Sprung the hatch bending itís frame but also crushed the core in the deck ruining the glass.
On the other side have been told stories where an attempt at entry was underway and aborted as thieves became concerned about discovery as it was taking too long.
We try to buddy boat or at least get friendly with our neighbors in the anchorage. Talk about keeping an eye out on each otherís boats. Seems wise.
As much as I like anchoring away from everyone tend to avoid it except in those situations where Iím off an island with no potable water (hence no residents) and sufficiently away from a hot area so low likelihood of small powercraft coming out and hitting on us.