Report From Jamaica
As a travel section reporter, I have written about crime in Jamaica -- and other islands -- in the past. Now, fresh from a trip to Montego Bay -- one of the Jamaica's three top resort areas -- my strongest impression was that crime and aggressive panhandling are less prevalent there than in the past.
I hung out in several beach areas, including Doctor's Cave, Sunset and Cornwall. I also spent an afternoon and early evening hopping between galleries and bars in the downtown area. In past visits, I was frequently accosted by pushy beggars or folks selling trinkets (or even drugs.) There also used to be an insidious air about the place, as if someone were watching our movements. This time, I observed a heightened police presence and a downturn in begging. I know that the Jamaican police and tourism authorities have been working to address complaints about crime and begging. As far as I could see, their efforts are having a positive effect.
To be sure, crime is still something that travelers to Jamaica should take precautions against. Avoid wearing jewlery or carrying too much cash, don't take valuables to the beach, and so on. In its December consular information sheet on Jamaica, the U.S. State Department reported that robberies against tourists are still a problem in this island country. It also said that shootings and gang violence still occur regularly in a couple of parts of the island, including the Flankers section of Mo'Bay. Flankers is fortunately far removed from the usual tourist circuit.
Anyone else been to Mo'Bay or other parts of Jamaica recently and have experiences -- postive or negative -- to report?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Gwendolyn | April 6, 2007 10:37 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.