Rising crime in Jamaica has prompted the country’s prime minister to declare a state of emergency in several areas, including the popular tourist destination of Montego Bay.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday declared a public emergency in parts of the capital Kingston and some central and western communities in a bid to control rising crime linked to gang violence.
States of emergency give authorities more powers, including the ability to search buildings and make arrests without a warrant. Tuesday’s measures apply to areas that include popular tourist destinations like Montego Bay.
One of the most popular vacation spots for American tourists in the Caribbean, Montego Bay is home to several prominent hotels, including Sandals Montego Bay, all-inclusive flagship.
Last month the US Department of State issued a travel warning He suggested Americans reconsider traveling to Jamaica due to rising crime, stating that “the homicide rate reported by the Jamaican government has been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere for several years.”
“Violent crimes such as burglary, armed robbery, sexual assault and murder are common,” the warning said. “Sexual assaults are common, even in all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to effectively respond to serious criminal incidents.”
Jamaican officials said 1,360 murders took place on the island between January 1 and November 13 this year, up 6.8% from the same period in 2021.
Gang violence is said to be the reason for 71% of these murders.
“We have seen an increase in criminal activity in these areas and threats to property and in some cases public disorder,” Holness said during a televised address.
“What we are seeing of gang activity in these areas is of great concern,” he added.
Holness predicted an increase in homicides over the next few weeks as the holiday season begins, when violent crime typically increases.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/16/jamaica-declares-state-of-emergency-over-surging-crime-including-tourist-hot-spot-montego-bay/ Jamaica declares state of emergency over rising crime including tourist hotspot Montego Bay