Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Canadians urged to exercise caution during state of emergency in Montego Bay

Canadians urged to exercise caution during state of emergency in Montego Bay Canadians urged to exercise caution during state of emergency in Montego Bay
Patty Aguilar | 20 January, 2018, 16:21

"You should follow local advice, including restrictions in selected areas".

British tourists in Jamaica have been told to stay in their hotels amid a government crackdown on gang violence and crime.

The Canadian advisory says there have been reports of alleged sexual assaults at tourist resorts that were carried out by resort staff and, in some cases, by other tourists.

Jamaica's prime minister Andrew Holness said the state of emergency was "necessary" in order to "restore public safety" in the St James area. If you do travel outside these perimeters, use transportation arranged or provided by the resort.

While the state of emergency is in place, security forces will have the power to carry out searches, reduce access to certain areas and detain people without a warrant.

Crime and violence, in particular murders, have been escalating in the parish of St James. "The security forces are expected and have been directed to treat citizens with respect and protect the dignity and safety of all".

The incidents that sparked the extreme measures occurred a few days ago in an afternoon orgy of violence near the Sangster International airport.

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About 200,000 British tourists holiday in the Montego Bay area every year.

Four attackers with AK-47s riddled the vehicle, killing the driver and injuring the other two adult passengers, while the child escaped unhurt. Police recovered 70 shells from the scene.

And hours later another man was shot four times at a roundabout nearer to the airport prompting the PM to act.

His current condition is unknown.

The murder rate in the St James Parish Area, which includes Montego Bay, is already double that of the rest of Jamaica, with 335 people killed past year.

The US State Department's Jamaica travel advisory was posted on January 10.

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