Jamaica, beautiful land of wood and water, where “out of many comes one”, has a reputation for being the Caribbean’s richest island culturally, with a heritage that makes a holiday here more than just one of endless sun and rum, but what about safety? There is plenty is to be found in the media about safety in Jamica written about its domestic crime rates, but here’s the reality of a safe Jamaica for holidaymakers.
Low Level Threat of Terrorism
The threat of terrorism from extremists is low compared to Northern Africa and Europe, but even so the Jamaican government has ramped up immigration controls and deepened its surveillance activities to ensure that foreign embassies do not become a soft target.
Domestic Housing Development Turf Wars
Like any country developing or developed its crime rate is linked to the local and global economy and spikes in recession. Kingston much like Mexico’s inner cities, London, Paris or New York suffers from disadvantaged youths joining local gangs as the result of Jamaica’s polarised local economy which is beginning to even off. The domestic crimes associated with these young people are drug and gang related and take place in small pockets within their housing developments. These urban housing areas are not featured in guidebooks nor do they appear in the lists of Top 10 places to visit in Jamaica, hence tourists are highly unlikely to be affected and enjoy a trouble free holiday.
Pack Common Sense
That is not to say that you should holiday in Jamaica without packing into your suitcase a good measure of common sense and awareness of potential situations. Jamaicans are incredibly warm, cheeky, cheerful and fun-loving so it is easy to build relationships and mistakenly think you have a new best friend. Tourism through the ages has always attracted petty theft such as pickpocketing and more recently credit card scamming has been reported in the built up in the resort areas of Montego Bay and Ochos Rios. Thankfully when these crimes have arisen there has been few incidents of them evolving into a violent episode. Our better to be safe than sorry advice is to be alert at ATMs, wear a moneybag but don’t carry lots of cash, when exploring don’t wear expensive jewellery rather leave valuables in your hotel safe and always use JTB licensed taxis or minibuses.
Holiday in Portland
The parish of Portland which includes Port Antonio and Hotel Mockingbird Hill enjoys being at the foot of Jamaica’s crime table, lower even than the neighbouring island of Dominica. Our lush rural parish thrives on a large network of tight connections exist amongst its communities. There is little tourist related crime from local service providers such as guides, unlicensed taxi drivers etc as more often than not they are connected to a hotel through their partners that work there. Everyone’s well being is at stake and guests can enjoy being taken care of by the large network of people whose over-riding interest is for them to have a fun and safe holiday in Jamaica.