Rising crime in Jamaica has induced the nation’s prime minister to declare a state of emergency in a number of areas, together with the favored vacationer vacation spot of Montego Bay.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday declared a state of public emergency in elements of the capital metropolis Kingston and in some central and western parishes in an try to manage rising crime linked to gang violence.
States of emergency give authorities elevated powers, together with the power to look buildings and perform arrests with out warrants. Tuesday’s measures apply to areas that embody well-liked vacationer locations reminiscent of Montego Bay.
Montego Bay is without doubt one of the extra well-liked resort areas for American vacationers within the Caribbean and is house to a number of distinguished lodges together with Sandals’ all-inclusive flagship location, Sandals Montego Bay.
Last month, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning suggesting that Americans rethink touring to Jamaica on account of rising crime, explaining that “the murder price reported by the Government of Jamaica has for a number of years been among the many highest within the Western Hemisphere.”
“Violent crimes, reminiscent of house invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are frequent,” the warning stated. “Sexual assaults happen regularly, together with at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the assets to reply successfully to severe felony incidents.”
Jamaican officers stated that 1,360 murders have taken place on the island between Jan. 1 and Nov. 13 of this yr, which represents a rise of 6.8% from the identical interval in 2021.
Gang violence is alleged to be the rationale for 71% of these murders.
“We have seen a rise in felony actions in these areas and a risk to property and in some situations public dysfunction,” Holness stated throughout a televised handle.
“What we’re seeing with gang actions in these areas is trigger for grave concern,” he added.
Holness predicted a rise in murders over the subsequent a number of weeks with the onset of the holiday season, when violent crime sometimes spikes.