Jamaica ? Dangerous ?

Sep 17th, 2002, 05:22 PM
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Jamaica ? Dangerous ?

I'm thinking about going to Jamaica. People seem to love it or hate it. I am considering Negril or Port Antonio. I am most curious about the safety issue. Is it really as dangerous as some say ? Or is this just hearsay ? I guess my question (in a nutshell) is -

Does anyone have a story about an actual crime, that actually occured in Jamaica- to them ? (not someone, who knows someone, who know someone, etc...)
Sep 17th, 2002, 05:26 PM
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do a text search, you'll find lots of info.
Sep 17th, 2002, 06:07 PM
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We have been to Jamaica twice this year. We stayed in Montego Bay and Negril. We did not see any crime, well besides the locals selling Jamaican smoke. I've heard crime is worse near Port Antonio but no actual experience of any crime.
Sep 17th, 2002, 09:28 PM
Caribbean Specialist
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Just like in the ghetto communities of America, the crime is generally local.
Native against Native or Police against Native. I have been to Jamaica many times and always felt safe amongst some of the friendliest people on earth.
Sep 18th, 2002, 04:43 AM
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I did a search, as the first respondant suggested. I can not find any (first hand) witnesses to any crime, just hearsay. Again, I'm looking for people who have been witness to, or victims of a crime. This does not include people who read about, or know someone, etc...
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:39 AM
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Personally I have never felt threatened or unsafe in JA and I have stayed in Mo Bay, Negril and Kingston at hotels and at the homes of friends and visited at least half a dozen times. I have walked the streets of New Kingstown alone (in the day, mind you), gone all about the place in Mo Bay, Ochi, Negril without a problem. Of course, you have to use your good judgement - do not take unncessary chances - use your head and the good sense God gave you and you will be fine - there is no need to be paranoid - JA is no more violent than the major cities in the US. The crime is more of a domestic nature -locals against locals/police and is quite often politically motivated. If you are minding your business and paying attention, you will be safe, mon!
Sep 18th, 2002, 09:16 AM
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I only remember one post about a traveller (and Fodor poster) actually being involved in a crime.
The woman contended that her husband's wallet (and hers, too, if I remember correctly) were stolen from their room at Beaches Royal Plantation in Ochi.
There was a string at one time about the travel writer who disappeared in Negril, but no one addressed it from a first person standpoint.
Indeed, other than some people saying that they had been approached by locals offering ganja, almost every story seems to carry an unrealized feeling of dread about what MIGHT happen.
One woman, bless her heart, was days away from traveling to Strawberry Hill and then through the center of the island to Negril, when she suddenly became aware that Jamaicans and the Jamaican Constabulary (police) were locked in a bitter struggle that included shooting deaths on both sides. She went into a panic about what MIGHT happen to her, and should she go, or cancel. In all of that inter-Jamaican violence, no tourists were injured.
I read the Gleaner (Jamaica's national paper) online 2 or 3 times a week, and I never see "violence upon tourist" stories.
And believe me, the Gleaner prints everything, warts and all, about everything going on in the island. If there's a chance to embarass government about mis- or malfeasance, it's in there. So it's doubtful anything is being hushed up.
I have NEVER heard of unsafe conditions in Port Antonio. When I worked in Kingston, I will admit I didn't like to be out after dark, but there are parts of Philadelphia where I would have that same concern.
Go to Jamaica, meet the wonderful people who live there, enjoy their weather, their food, and their hospitality. You'll want to go back again.
Sep 18th, 2002, 01:12 PM
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Many people's fears are not equal in proportion to the actual risks involved. Kinda reminds me of the cigarette smoker, who was afraid to visit Jamaica because of the risk of crime or personal injury - see the irony ??
Sep 18th, 2002, 01:56 PM
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I'd just as soon not be pestered. We were bothered to death. Saw no actual crimes. Go to relax.
Sep 18th, 2002, 05:13 PM
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We have been to Jamaica 6 times, to various parts of the island. For granted, there is a fair share of crime there. No too ways about it. But like one poster said, it is like visiting any unknown city in the USA. The vendors can be pesty and rather rude - a firm NO and walking away does the tricks. We never go off onto area's we donot know by ourselves and we do most tours with a guide or through the resort. Most of the people you encounter however, will be very friendly and great to talk with.

Most of the crime and unrest in Jamaica is in Kingston, far from either spot you are looking into. Ocho Riosis alot bigger then Port Antinio so alot mroe to see and do but also more crime.
Sep 19th, 2002, 04:53 AM
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Port Antonio is lush, green, nature-Jamaica with more Euros, more quiet,fewer higglers.See the film/video
'The Mighty Quinn',shot in Port Antonio (as was Robin Williams' 'Club Paradise' for a Hollywoodized view) Negril is resort Jamaica, a superb beach culture,but all resorts. Porty is relatively undiscovered, gives you beach, Boston Bay for jerkstands, waterfalls,rafting,The Blue Hole/Lagoon,coffee plantations and all the Blue Mts. Fly in via Kingston or MoBay to Negril tho. Use common sense/street sense and Porty will suit you admirably.
Sep 19th, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Common since is all you need. We love negril and have never had a problem in jamaica and we go every year.
Sep 19th, 2002, 07:23 AM
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Kimmy, I assume you mean common sense.
I think most of the people who may have concerns are those who would actually leave their resort and not stay at Sandals the entire time.
For those who are worried, staying at the resort is an option, but it sure cuts down on the fun to be had and the beauty of the island to be seen.
People who are really worried should either select a domestic travel destination or venture off the resort property only on tours they take through the place they are staying.
The chances of anything happening to a tourist (on an island where tourism is a mainstay) is remote at best.
Sep 19th, 2002, 07:42 AM
My view
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Okay, here's the deal:

As far as danger goes, you are just as safe in Jamaica as you are in most parts of the US, if not safer. I wouldn't walk around in Kingston, but I also wouldn't walk around in Harlem or east LA for that matter!!

Your enjoyment on vacation depends on what you want & expect. There are islands that offer so many different choices. Jamaica have nice resorts, beautiful beaches, and deep culture. You will however have to deal with the vendors harassing you to buy everything under the sun. This bothers & threatens some, and doesn't others....you'll have to make this call yourself. Some islands don't have these folks hounding you, and others do like Jamaica.

Bottom line is if you use your head as you would in a US city, then yes, you'll be fine & safe. As afar as what you'll encounter in Jamaica versus other islands, do your homework BEFORE you go, so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
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