The Prime Minister of Jamaica has issued a state of emergency for the country. Due to the rising crime in Jamaica, including the popular tourist area of Montego Bay, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared the state of public emergency in parts of the capital city of Kingston and in some other central and western regions. The state of emergency has been issued with hopes of controlling rising crime that has been linked back to gang violence.
In Montego Bay, the state of emergency will provide the Jamaican government the authority of increased powers including the ability to search buildings and make arrests without warrants which the area is hoping will keep the tourist haven a heavily trafficked tourist town. Though, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning to Americans last month asking them to reconsider traveling to the country due to the crime rise.
The warning from the State Department warned Americans of home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides in the country and especially in highly tourist heavy areas even the all-inclusive Sandals’ hotel in Sandals Montego Bay.
Jamaican officials have said that between January 1st and November 13th, 1,360 murders have taken place on the island increasing the rate 6.8% from the same period last year. Gang violence is said to be the reason for about 71% of those murders as the correlation between gang presence and murder activity is highly overlapped in the area.
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