Jamaica - Crime And Safety
Jamaica's murder rate is undeniably high - the average is about a thousand per year - the JTB is keen to stress that you are
more likely to be mugged in New York than Montego Bay.
Nonetheless, robberies, assaults and other crimes against tourists do occasionally occur, and it's wise to apply the precautions you'd take in any foreign city.
Hustling can be a major annoyance in
Jamaica. Especially in Montego Bay, young hopefuls aggressively (or humorously)
accost foreigners in the street with offers of transport, ganja, aloe massages,
hair-braiding and crafts.
While an inevitable few street touts see
tourists as easy prey for exploitation, most are just trying to make a living in
an economically deprived country. Best advice is to keep things in perspective
and employ a dash of humour.
Though tourism officials are loath to acknowledge it, many people do come to Jamaica in search of what aficionados agree is some of the finest marijuana
in the world. If you're fairly young, expect to be offeredganjain the tourist areas; if you're not interested, calmly and firmly refuse. Bear in mind, too, that the possession, use, export or attempted smuggling of any quantity of ganja is
against the law in Jamaica and carries stiff penalties.
The emergency number for the Jamaican police is 119.
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