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12 Jul 2019

Crime Spotlight: Jamaica

On 7 July, in a response to the recent gang shooting incidents the Government of Jamaica has declared the State of Emergency (SOE) in the St Andrew Parish, which includes several areas of Kingston. Also, the States of Emergency in the parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland have been extended to 13 August 2019. Moreover there are currently two Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) active in Denham Town in Kingston and Mount Salem in Montego Bay, with ongoing police and military operations. These enhanced security measures are the Jamaican Government’s latest attempt to contain the recent violence spread. According to local police, only in St Andrew South Division itself,  94 murders have been reported since the beginning of 2019; at least 25 gangs are operating in this area.


Jamaica continues to have one of the highest crime rates in the region. The latest UNODC data reveal, that the island’s homicide rate of 57 per 100,000 residents, is over nine times of the global average.


Travel advice

  1. Potential travel disruption, due to the road closures, temporary movement restrictions and curfews. Plan in advance and allow extra time for travel.
  2. Monitor media reports and follow the local authorities advice.
  3. Exercise caution throughout your visit in Jamaica.
  4. Avoid travelling at night.


Additional information:

Jamaica Information Service - State of Public Emergency Boundaries St Andrew South Police Division:


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Study on Homicide 2019:


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for Jamaica: