State of emergency declared in Jamaica's Montego Bay for Canadians

gls55 holdings
Friday, January 19, 2018

The Canadian government has urged Canadians that may be in, traveling to, or around the tourist area of Montego Bay to use extreme caution. It is strongly suggested that they listen to any local authorities amid the current military lock-down in that area.


On Thursday, January 18, 2018, the Jamaican authorities imposed a state of emergency in the northwestern parish of St. James, which includes Montego Bay. This is in direct response to a severe increase in recent violent crimes in that locale.


“Jamaican military forces have been deployed to the area in an attempt to stabilize the situation,” Travel Canada said in a release.


“If you are staying at a resort in the affected area, restrict your movements beyond resort security perimeters. If you do travel outside these perimeters, use transportation arranged or provided by the resort. Use organized tour operators for excursions and travel to and from the airport. If you are in the affected area, be extremely vigilant, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local news.”

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that criminal activity in the area had grown to the point that it was endangering public safety, necessitating a state of public emergency.

While the state of emergency is in place, security forces will have the power to carry out searches, reduce access to certain areas and detain people without a warrant.

All persons driving in and out of the parish will be subject to a vehicle and personal search, the statement added.


Last year, 335 murders were recorded in St. James, which is twice as many as any of the other 13 administrative parishes in the country.

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