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US: Don’t travel to JA and Trinidad

Regional 13 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Laventille has always been a problem area of Trinidad

Jamaica’s May Pen has seen a huge rise in crime

Jamaica and Trinidad are two Caribbean countries the United States Department of State is warning not to travel because of their recent alarming increase in crime rate.

Four months after the US urged Americans to reconsider visiting Jamaica due to crime, listing eight of the country’s 14 parishes as having an “increased risk”, the US Department of State has reissued the level three travel advisory there. This is despite Jamaica recording its best tourist numbers by Americans since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The parishes previously listed as areas Americans should not travel to, remain the same. US citizens are being warned against travelling to Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston and St Andrew, all of Montego Bay, St Ann, St Catherine, St James, and Westmoreland due to crime. The capital of Clarendon is the town of May Pen which has seen a huge spike in violent crime recently.

The US especially warned its citizens to only go to Clarendon if they’re transiting to other parishes and to stay on the highway. According to the US State Department, violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common in Jamaica.

“Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Emergency services vary throughout the island, and response times may vary from US standards,” the State Department claimed.

The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica for several years has been among the highest in the region. Visitors are advised not to use public buses, and not to drive outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.

The US State Department has also updated its travel advisory for Trinidad and Tobago, with a warning to its citizens to stay out of Port of Spain. It has elevated Port of Spain to a Level 4: Do Not Travel. In the advisory published on its website, Americans are warned that violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of the capital, particularly Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah. “After dark, US government personnel are prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.”

The advisory also warns that visiting Trinidad and Tobago increases likelihood of violent crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related.

It states that terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

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