Is Jamaica Safe?
London’s murder rate has overtaken New York for the first time in modern history screamed The Independent’s headline!
With the Met (London Metropolitan Police Force) concerned at the increased murders in London, does it make you want to flee the UK? And New York is one of the world’s most violent cities and it has not people migrating or vacationing there. So why is it that our beautiful country gets such a bad rapport from the diaspora?
If you’re not interested in your home, please believe that the Chinese and Israelis are. In 2015 Bloomberg declared “Jamaica’s Tiny Stock Market” a world conqueror! Jamaica is a force to be reckoned with, if only we appreciated this fact. With motorcycle acid attacks and thefts, why are we so worried about Jamaica?
Please do not misunderstand me, like every place in the world Jamaica can be unsafe for a variety of reasons. There are unscrupulous person wherever you go. With guns more accessible in Jamaica than the UK, but on par with the States there will be issues. It’s hard to remember with us being such a small island with a formidable world force, but we are still not a 1st world country.
Everyone’s Jamaica will be different. My Jamaican experience is not going to be the same as the street higgler’s or the politician’s Jamaica. Please see a Tourists view of Jamaica during the mandatory curfew here https://life.spectator.co.uk/2018/02/the-very-thing-keeping-tourists-safe-in-jamaica-crime/ a very entertaining and eye opening read.
Whatever your Jamaica is, I have included a few safety tips to employ wherever you are in the world.
1. Park in well lit and populated areas. Do not delay in getting into your car but check the back seat and the back floor (I watch too much CSI to not do this every time I get into my car). Jamaica has a lot of shared taxis and some other countries, so I would also check who is in the taxi before getting in for my own safety.
2. Keep your valuables out of sight in the street and in the car. A report from Europe (yes Europe!) stated that criminals were targeting parked cars and stealing laptops by scanning for their wifi signal. Apparently, the police and insurance companies were well aware of this. Both suggest switching all devices off if they must be left in your vehicle, off! Not sleep mode. If your device is off then no signal can be detected. They also suggest storing your device in the trunk or in the spare tire compartment of your trunk. They also advised that storing electronic devices in a metal box can help block any signals, but even better they urge you to take all electronic devices with you!
My personal favourite advice is to carry a jelapi (Jamaican word for an old phone) with you when you “touch di road”, so that should you be asked to give up your personal possessions you do not loose anything too significant.
3. Be aware of your surroundings and access your situation. Always have a plan and emergency exit.
4. Install a panic room? Fair enough in the UK this is not a common occurrence. However, if I believe the US dramas, panic rooms are a viable option in the US. If you’re building a home this may be something you wish to consider. Make sure to equip it with an independent outside line to your security provider and the police. And never give the code to anyone!
5. Get a good burglary/alarm system linked directly to your security company and the police.
6. Just like anywhere in the world there are good and bad places. Try and avoid the bad places. If you must go there because the food cheap and the party sweet, less is more and be vigilant!
7. Never! And I mean never! Give your bank details to anyone! If the bank is calling you, it’s ok to hang up and call them back. It’s also ok to tell them that you will come into branch instead. Also do not give your home address out, possibly invest in a PO Box or use your work address (even that is risky).
8. Choose your circle wisely!
9. Check your drinks! If you put it down and don’t watch it, leave it! I would suggest getting a cover for your drinks and investing in something small and portable to test whether your drink has been spiked.
Jamaica is a great place and from the interviews previously, my own personal experiences and that of my associates we believe Jamaica to be safe! Enjoy “fi wi country!”