Tuesday,  October 3, 2023  3:56 am

Jamaica declares state of emergency due to spike in violent crime

Jamaica declares state of emergency due to spike in violent crime
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

Due to a significant increase in violent crime since the beginning of the year, the Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency effective until October 28, 2019, extending the alert which was previously set to expire yesterday (Aug. 13).

The state of emergency extends to St James Parish, which includes the popular tourist destination Montego Bay, as well as Hanover Parish and Westmoreland Parish, which includes Negril.

Exercise caution

The extended warning notes that during this period, security forces have been given increased rights to conduct searches, seizures, and detain persons of interest. Curfews may also be imposed without notice.

Global Affairs Canada lists the following areas as having a reputation for violent gang activity in the Greater Kingston area:

  • Arnett Gardens
  • August Town
  • Cassava Piece
  • Central Village in Spanish Town
  • Denham Town
  • Grant’s Pen
  • Hannah Town
  • Harbour View
  • Mountain View
  • Olympic Gardens
  • Payneland
  • Portmore
  • Tivoli Gardens
  • Trench Town
  • West Kingston
  • Whitfield Town

Over in Montego Bay, which is home to many popular chain resorts and hotels, Canadians are advised to exercise caution in the following areas:

  • Canterbury
  • Flankers
  • Hart Street
  • Mount Salem
  • Norwood Gardens
  • Rose Heights
  • St. Clavers Avenue

A state of emergency, in effect until Oct. 5, 2019, has also been declared for St Andrew Parish, which includes areas of Kingston.

Back in January 2018, the Jamaican government issued a similar warning, for St. James Parish when a state of emergency was declared over high levels of violent crime. That original 14-day state of emergency was extended through to May 2018.

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