Mexico, The Bahamas and Jamaica have been named as three popular tourist destinations with some of the highest murder rates in the world.

Despite holidaymakers avoiding notorious locales known to be dangerous, many often overlook potential safety issues in more well known hot spots in countries including St Lucia, Belize and South Africa.

Releasing a list of global homicide rates, the World Health Organisation has revealed that Jamaica has the third highest number of murders annually - 45.1 in every 100,000 people - which is a particularly high figure when compared with the UK's 1.5 in every 100,000 murder rate.

The country with the third most homicides was named as Jamaica, which reported a huge 45.1 people per 100,000 a year


Another Caribbean highlight which featured highly on the list was St Lucia, which has an average murder rate of 15.3 people per every 100,000.

The tourist- favourite, popular due to its pristine beaches and luxury resorts attracts an average of 338,000 holidaymakers each year.

Travel advice on the Foreign Office website for St Lucia says: "Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of crime including murder, armed robbery and sexual assault.

"You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Be vigilant at all times.

"Take care when walking alone off the busy main roads and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, particularly after dark."

According to the World Health Organisation, in their 2012 study, fourteenth place is Mexico, which welcomes 25.8 million visitors annually a year - but has an average of 22 homicides in every 100,000 people. The Dominican Republic has the thirteenth highest murder rate with 25.4 people per 100,000 and the Bahamas is ranked eleventh with 32.1 murders a year.

With all eyes on Brazil in the coming months, tourists may be concerned to discover that it has the tenth highest homicide rate with a shocking 32.4 people per 100,000 being murdered annually.

The country, which draws an average of 5.8 million holidaymakers a year, is popular for its incredible waterfalls and endless coastlines.

The Foreign Office safety and security advice for Brazil is: 'Crime levels are high. Violence and crime can occur anywhere and often involve firearms or other weapons. You should be vigilant, particularly before and during the festive and carnival periods.

"Avoid wearing expensive jewellery, watches and clothes. Don't carry large sums of money. Keep mobile phones and cameras out of sight and leave your passport and valuables in a safe place, though you should carry another form of photo ID like a driving licence with you at all times."

Taking the ninth, eighth and fourth positions are Trinidad and Tobago with 35.3 people being murdered per every 100,000, South Africa with 35.7 and Belize with 44.7.

Belize is an increasingly popular holiday destination and draws 294,000 people a year to its tropical rainforests and Mayan ruins.

The tourism hot spot with the third most homicides was named as Jamaica, which reported a huge 45.1 murders per 100,000 a year.

Visited by 3.5 million tourists annually for it beaches, rum and reggae, the country is also known for violent crime, armed robbery and kidnapping.

The Foreign Office said: 'Criminals have targeted visiting British nationals and those returning to resettle permanently in Jamaica.

"There have been some violent incidents, including armed robbery, murder and rape."

Murder rates per 100,000

Jamaica - 45.1 people
Belize - 44.7 people
South Africa - 35.7 people
Trinidad and Tobago - 35.3 people
Brazil - 32.4 people
Bahamas - 32.1 people
Dominican Republic - 25.4 people
Mexico - 22 people
St Lucia - 15.3 people

- Daily Mail