Canada updates travel advisory for Jamaica
Canada has updated its travel advisory for Jamaica, warning its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when visiting the island due to the high level of violent crime.
The update follows a similar level 3 advisory from the United States which cited concerns about inadequate medical services and crime in Jamaica while urging citizens to reconsider travel.
Canada’s updated advisory issued on Monday, said violent crime, including armed robbery and murder is a problem in large cities and tourist areas, including parts of Kingston and Montego Bay, despite the presence of police to counter criminal activity.
It noted that the availability of firearms is widespread and that most violent drug and gang related crimes, especially murder, involve firearms.
The advisory cautioned that visitors face a risk of becoming the victim of cross fire and are also at risk of crimes of opportunity, especially robberies.
It noted that while crimes tend to be concentrated within what the police refer to as “traditional hot spots” or “high-risk communities”, they can take place anywhere and at any time.
The advisory further pinpointed communities such as Arnette Gardens, August Town, Denham Town, Hunts Bay, Mountain View, Flankers, Mount Salem and May Pen, as areas to avoid.
It also urged Canadian travellers who are of other sexual orientation to not engage in public displays of affection while in Jamaica to avoid being harassed or abused.
Canadians were further warned about credit and automated teller machine fraud, as well as romance and lottery scams, which the advisory cited as being prevalent in Jamaica.