State of emergency in Jamaica extended due to "significant" increase in violent crimes

Aug 13 2019, 11:01 am

The Jamaican government has extended a state of emergency for a number of popular tourist destinations until October 28, according to the Government of Canada.

This comes as officials say there has been a ‘significant’ increase in violent crimes on the Caribbean island since the beginning of the year.

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On Tuesday, the Canadian government updated the emergency status for Jamaica, which was set to expire on the same day.

This travel warning applies to the St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland parishes, which include Montego Bay and Negril.

An additional state of emergency is also now in effect until October 5, 2019, for the St Andrew parish, which includes areas of Kingston.

Under these travel warnings, security forces have been given increased rights to conduct searches, seizures, detain persons of interest, and impose curfews without notice, the government said.

According to the safety warning, if you’re travelling in the affected areas, you should do the following:

  • Always cooperate with military and police officers
  • Carry valid ID at all times and be prepared for various checkpoints
  • Avoid outings outside the resort after dark
  • Allow extra time to reach your destination
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation

The government says drug and gang-related violent crimes including murders and shootings have reportedly increased in the Greater Kingston area and Montego Bay.

While reports of violence targetted at tourists are low, the government still cautions Canadian travellers to “exercise a high degree of caution” at all times.