How Dangerous is Jamaica Negril or Ochos Rios

Old Nov 23rd, 2002, 01:39 PM
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How Dangerous is Jamaica Negril or Ochos Rios

We are planning a Christmas vacation to Jamaica, probably staying in an AI with small kids. My father does nto want us to go because of the shooting last week in Kingston which killed and wounded many locals. My understanding is that this does not effect the tourist areas (we would fly out of Montego Bay) such as Negril. We went in 96 and had a wonderful time and found everyone very friendly and even went into the market in Ochos Rios without a problem

Any thoughts please
Old Nov 23rd, 2002, 02:25 PM
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You will be fine in any tourist area especially Ochos Rios or Nergil. The only thing you may encounter is an occasional vendor offering things fruit, aloe, hairbraiding or weed. Just politely decline and go on your way.

Overall, Jamaicans are lovely people will to help you with anything you need for a great vacation. This is still a strugging economic country, and things are tight, but aggressive problems with tourist is not tolorated by the government or police. So enjoy - and tell your father to sit tight, you'll bring him back a bottle of rum!
Old Nov 23rd, 2002, 07:03 PM
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There are tons of tourists in Ochos Rios and Negril everyday. Never heard one bad thing (violent) happening to anybody.

Problems in Kingston have nothing to do with tourist areas. Parallel would be travelling to resort areas in California and being nervous because parts of L.A. are dangerous.

We enjoy Jamaica - people are great.
Old Nov 24th, 2002, 09:20 AM
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Dear Lisa,

I was in Jamaica (montego Bay) in 1985 and 1989. I didn't like it then, people were always too pushy, would take no for an answer, and the people trying to sell drugs were the worst.

If I recall, a female tourist disappeared during Spring Break 2000, without a trace… lot of suspects, a lot of people were fired from they "resort" jobs, but to date, there is no trace of young lady and no arrests.

There have been other incidents that I do not recall, however, once inside one of the All inclusive clubs you should be all set. But don't venture out on your own or at night.

A good friend of mine, who is a police detective, and he is built like a BULL said he would not go back. In fact, as of late, anyone that I know who have gone have came back and said they would not return.

I hope this helps. There are safer islands.


Old Nov 24th, 2002, 10:20 AM
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Thanks everyone. I am still not sure. Michael, did your officer friend stay at an AI or did he like to explore? We stayed in an AI a number of years ago and felt safe but I do remember something about the girl disappearing. Thanks
Old Nov 24th, 2002, 10:32 AM
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Reassure Dad -- you'll do just fine.
What happens in Kingston is light years away from MoBay and Negril. Bring Dad back some red sorrel and logwood honey mixed with a tot of dark Appleton Rum to soothe his nervous nature.
Old Nov 24th, 2002, 10:35 AM
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Yes, he was in an all inclusive. He had hoped to explore, but he did not. Even the trip to the resort was, as he put it, a dirty adventure.

The young woman that disappeared was also staying at an all inclusive as well. People were fired, people were interviewd, etc, little comfort for the young ladies parents.

Old Nov 24th, 2002, 05:09 PM
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Not sure why the gentleman above is telling stories about Montego Bay - you are going to Negril. We have been to Negril 5 times and absolutely love the place and the people.

People can come out of the woodwork with these stories above about any place - but 99.9% sure your trip will be great.

For some reason - people like this Michael person above get pleasure in finding the 1 out of 1 million stories and highlighting them (posting twice to reinforce his doomsday message).
Old Nov 24th, 2002, 09:02 PM
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Have to agree with the posters RichF and 'Advice.' Where you folks are planning on (Negril, Ocho Rios) is north of the Island, Kingston is way south. It would be like saying folks shouldn't go to Atlantic City because it's too close to NYC, an int'l terrorist target and high crime area (and p.s., I'm from near the NYC area).

The young woman who disappeared 2 years ago was by herself and out at night from a resort known for singles/couples.

Crime is everywhere; St. Thomas, St. Martin, and the Bahamas have their share as well, and this has not prevented folks from visiting around these islands.

I don't want to influence you either way; just think if you have your plans set this post is my 2 cents. I agree with the poster, Tivertonhouse (who, from just his/her posts, usually gives sound advice) and pick up some Appleton Rum AND Red Stripe for Dad, too.
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 08:09 AM
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Don't worry. Ochos Rios and Negril are far safer then any major US city. It's the city of Kingston that (raises) the crime rate in Jamaica. Don't think you have to lock yourself in your resort. Hire a cab and see the sights. Jamaica is the most naturally beautiful of all the Caribbean islands. Go out and see it...
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 08:35 AM
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The person Mike was speaking of did not disappear during spring break. The woman who is still missing was a writer for Conde Naste Traveller and was by herself.

I also don't know how you could compare 1985 and 1989 to 2002.
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 08:39 AM
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Lisa -

I just returned from a week-long trip to Negril, (11/13 - 11/20). We stayed up on the cliffs in a lovely villa that is part of a non-AI resort. There were 4 of us gals, all in our 30s. Let me state this clearly - we never, ever felt unsafe. NEVER.

We hired a driver who took us most places, but even when we did not use him, none of us ever had any problems.
We walked the cliff road - at night - on our way to/from dinner or just to stroll. We had no problems with any driver we grabbed from the beach back to the cliffs.

In fact, the ONLY issue any one of us had during the entire week was when, one night, we decided to check out some live music on the beach at Alfred's. One of the girls had her bum grabbed, hard - by a WHITE TOURIST. gee, go figure.

The jamaicans are as a whole wonderful people. We met lots of interesting, funny guys and gals during our stay. Yes, you have to be firm - especially in the craft market and on the beach - but we never felt threatened.

It was my second trip to Negril (first one was last year with the hubby - and yes, he "let" me return with the gals this year, no concerns). I can guarantee you that all 4 of us will absolutely be back. We all LOVED negril, especially up on the cliffs.

Have a wonderful time. Feel free to email me directly with any questions. I'd LOVE to talk more about it!

best regards,
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 09:24 AM
Welcome to Jamaica
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Hey advice, thats great info saying that travel to Jamaica is akin to resort areas in California.

Except that Jamaica and island of only 3 million has almost 900 murders this year alone and this is down 14% from last year???
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 12:03 PM
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I'd feel much safer walking through anywhere in Jamaica than I would parts of L.A., Chicago, New York or any major U.S. city.

In the first 3 months of 2002 there were 153 murders reported in L.A. - up 50% from 2001. There were 586 murders in Los Angeles alone in 2001.

Don't forget the 342 rapes, 4392 robberies and 4446 aggravated assaults.

On a big scale - there were 403,038 crimes reported in California in 2001.

Crime is up in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

You keep reading the rhetoric my friend - while tourists in Jamaica continue to have safe holidays.

Old Nov 25th, 2002, 12:20 PM
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Bravo, Advice, bravo. Good way to put an obviously misinformed fool to shame.
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 12:37 PM
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People, please keep in mind that while it's true that the crime/murder rate is high in Jamaica, the bottom line is MOST OF THESE OCCUR IN THE GHETTOS OF KINGSTON and not in the tourist areas.

Sure, there have been a few incidents over the years. What Caribbean island hasn't? That said, if it makes you uncomfortable, don't go to Jamaica. Noone is forcing you to. But it is a beautiful island with much to offer, so if the news about the violence is the only factor putting you off, you might want to reconsider...

Thanks for the stats Advice - it puts things in perspective.
Old Nov 26th, 2002, 08:02 AM
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actually LA alone is approaching 600 murders this I guess that means one should not go to DisneyLand or anywhere else in the LA area...
Old Nov 26th, 2002, 09:47 AM
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I just got back from my 8th vacation to Jamaica. I have yet to experience any of the 'bad' things that posters put on this board about Jamaica. When I worked in Kingston 12 years ago, I never experienced any of the 'bad' things that people post on this board. None of the people I worked with had been effected by any of the drug and politically motivated violence that makes the headlines.
There is very little that you as a tourist to Jamaica have to worry about regarding crime and violence, so long as you conduct yourself as you would in almost any other location on earth, except possibly Rome, most of Israel, and a half dozen countries in Africa.
You can still go to the market in Ocho Rios, and even in Montego Bay, with little concern that the violence of Kingston will be visited upon you.
Oh, and hmmmmmmmmmm, Los Angeles had just under 1100 homicides in 1992, and we never saw a headline telling people to avoid the horrors of that city, did we?
When I lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1991, there were just under 700 homocides in that city of 2.75 million. More than 90% of them were males, aged 17 to 25, shot at close range, and many in the back of the head. Drug-related was the conclusion by the police. Do you remember seeing anything in the papers about that? Or did anyone tell you to stay away from Puerto Rico?
We continue to rehash the same information about the Jamaica situation every 2 or 3 weeks. Those of us who love the place defend it, and those who don't like the place attack it.
I am certainly not suggesting the head-in-the-sand approach of covering up problems, or even down-playing serious and legitimate issues. I am saying that the level of fear is way out of proportion to the reality.
The key, as always, is be informed and be cautious, but go and enjoy yourself.
Tell you father you appreciate and understand his concern about you and your well-being, but that your trip to Negril should not be an anxiety-provoking event for him. Or you.
Old Nov 26th, 2002, 10:01 AM
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Los Angeles also has a population of 4 million people. (Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore and scores of others are actually more dangerous than LA). The fact is, per capita, Jamaica has the third highest murder rate in the world.
Old Nov 26th, 2002, 10:51 AM
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XYZ, fact is you are an asshole. You post "facts" that are not facts. Do some research and in the meantime put a sock in it.
Here's the real leaders in Murder per capita:

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