Is Jamaica Safe

Is it safe to travel to Jamaica?  The question regarding “Is Jamaica Safe” frequently comes up quite often for visitors to Jamaica.

My first inclination is to tell you that it is safe; however, sometimes I wonder if I have been sensitized to the situation here in Jamaica.

That being said, keep in mind I have been living here for more than thirty years and I haven’t been robbed.

I am female and I have driven around the island by myself and I have never had any problems.  As a matter of fact all I have experienced is kindness from my fellow Jamaicans.

I will therefore tell you the things I do to stay safe in Jamaica.  I use this to stay safe in other countries I visit as well.

  1. Do not walk alone at night. Actually try to avoid walking at night in isolated areas even if you are with a group.
  2. Do not drive late. By late I mean after 12:00 am.  I usually prefer to have someone with me if I do this.  Additionally if I have to drive on a lonely stretch a road I prefer not to do this.
  3. Don’t wear expensive jewellery.
  4. Do not walk around displaying expensive items.
  5. I have never had this happen to me but if someone decides to rob you hand it over. Do not fight them.
  6. Only use red plate taxis or a licensed JUTA transportation providers.
  7. Avoid civil disturbances, political meetings and any other disturbances.
  8. When asking for directions I usually prefer to ask elderly people.
  9. Ask a local about the area you want to visit if you are not sure. You do not want to inadvertedly go to a bad area in Jamaica.
  10. Do not give strangers a lift in your car
  11. Do not park your car in isolated areas of a shopping mall or restaurant.
  12. If you are walking in a tourist area and you are hassled to buy something tell them sorry but I am not interested. If they persist ignore them.    Additionally, do not let anyone intimidate you to hand over money.  If you feel this is happening say I would give you something but I don’t have any money on me.  Try and be firm and respectful.
  13. Do not get drunk unless you have a really good friend who you trust to take care of you.
  14. Make use of your hotel safe.
  15. Use banks and cambios when exchanging money. Do not exchange money with people on the street.
  16. Do not travel with large amounts of cash.
  17. Do not leave your baggage unattended
  18. Do not let your credit card out of your site when using it at a store , restaurant or other business establishment.
  19. If you are using an ATM machine stick to the ones in a crowded area. Also check if there are any irregularities with the machine.    These have been a few incidents where people put devices on the machine to steal your information.

Is Montego Bay Safe

Most of the resorts in Montego Bay are located on the Rosehall corridor or the Freeport area of Montego Bay.  These areas are safe in Montego Bay.

Most of the crime in Montego Bay occurs in the inner city areas of Flankers, Hart Street, Rose Heights, Clavers Street and Canterbury.

The problem tourists might encounter in the tourist area of Montego Bay is people approaching them to sell drugs or souvenir items.   Try to avoid walking in downtown Montego Bay.

Is Ocho Rios Safe

Ocho Rios has a very low crime rate.  If visitors are to face any problems more than likely it will be from people trying to sell them drugs or souvenirs.    Jamaicans can be a bit aggressive at time be polite and firm when you tell them no.

 Is Negril Jamaica Safe

Negril has a low crime rate.   When visiting avoid walking in isolated areas by yourself at night.  If you are walking along seven mile beach expect to be pestered by souvenir sellers and drug peddlers.

Is Kingston Jamaica Safe

Kingston is the capital of Jamaica.  Most of the crime that occurs here is usually gang on gang crime and usually occurs in the inner city areas of Jamaica.

If you are staying in the New Kingston area (This is where most of the hotels are located) you should be fine.

Overall I think Jamaica is safe and hopefully  you will go out and explore this beautiful country I call my home.  Your best bet is to take the same precautions you would in your home country.

 

 

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