I actually had to think about this for a long time. I was raised in Jamaica in era where the death penalty was very common. I was also though raised in a time when there was never this level of violence. Statistics show that approximately 1,387 deaths were reported between January to the end of October. This was just 2 over what we had last year.
There have been widespread calls in recent months for executions, even by members of the clergy, after the beheading of a young girl and the discovery of an 11-year-old boy's dismembered body in a trash bag.
Further statistics show 66 women ,wre raped in October, while 27 children were victims of carnal abuse. There was also 260 reported robberies, 251 cases of carnal abuse and 34 cases of larceny.
Now if enforcing the death penalty for some of the more serious crimes will stop what is going on in Jamaica, then yes, I am for it.
Below is latest report on travel concerns from the travel section of the United States Department of State.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Gang violence and shootings occur regularly in certain areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. These areas include, but are not limited to Mountain View, Trench Town, Tivoli Gardens, Cassava Piece, and Arnett Gardens in Kingston, and Flankers in Montego Bay. Some neighborhoods are occasionally subject to curfews and police searches. Impromptu demonstrations can occur, during which demonstrators often construct roadblocks or otherwise block the streets. These events usually do not affect tourist areas, but travelers to Kingston should check with local authorities or the U.S. Embassy for current information prior to their trip.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution, can be found.
Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
As a general rule, valuables should not be left unattended or in plain view, including in hotel rooms and on the beach. Care should be taken when carrying high value items such as cameras, or when wearing expensive jewelry on the street. Women's handbags should be zipped and held close to the body. Men should carry wallets in their front pants pocket. Large amounts of cash should always be handled discreetly.
The U.S. Embassy advises its staff to avoid inner-city areas of Kingston and other urban centers, such as those listed in the section on Safety and Security, whenever possible. Particular caution is advised after dark and in downtown Kingston. The U.S. Embassy also cautions its staff not to use public buses, which are often overcrowded and are a frequent venue for crime.
To enhance security in the principal resort areas, the Government of Jamaica has taken a number of steps, including assignment of special police foot and bicycle patrols. However, in 2008 two American families reported having been robbed inside their resort hotel rooms while they slept. Particular care is still called for, however, when staying at isolated villas and smaller establishments that may have fewer security arrangements.
Some street vendors, beggars, and taxi drivers in tourist areas aggressively confront and harass tourists to buy their wares or employ their services. If a firm "No, thank you" does not solve the problem, visitors may wish to seek the assistance of a tourist police officer.
I love Jamaica more than anything in the world, so it saddens me when I read the statistics and advisories by the United States Department of Travel.
I feel the safety of the people and the safety of travelers are a main concern right now.
Many people in Jamaica are upset because I wrote this article, but I am merely paraphrasing the information that is being distributed to travelers. We have ignored this problem for so long and let the "badman", "rude boys" run this country and control our government. The people need to (and they are) stand up, stand up for justice and what is right. They need to put the "Fear" they have behind them.
Jamaica is more than a place that has gorgeous beaches, sunsets, mountains, ...it is a place where people are living, and trying to maintain a life.