Canadians urged to be cautious in Jamaican resorts

Canadians urged to be cautious in Jamaican resorts

The Foreign Office said Britons should limit their movements outside of their resorts, especially at night.

"You should follow local advice, including restrictions in selected areas".

There were six killings a week on average in St James last year while Jamaica has double the amount of murders as Britain each year.

A vehicle carrying three men and a child was sprayed with bullets in a drive-by shooting on Tuesday afternoon, a stone's throw from Sangster International Airport. Tourists should stay in their resorts and limit travel beyond their respective security perimeters. Miraculously, the child was unhurt.

The U.S. embassy in Kingston has issued a warning advising U.S. citizens that the 1966 Emergency Powers Act allows Jamaican security forces in St. James Parish to "arbitrarily detain and deport suspicious persons, enter premises and seize property with a warrant".

The UK advisory said for excursions outside hotels, these should be undertaken with organised tour operators, and transportation should be arranged or provided by the hotels.

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St. James Parish, which includes the popular vacation destination, has seen an uptick in violent crime lately, leading authorities to declare a state of emergency, impose a temporary curfew and increase military presence in the area.

Urging caution by visitors, the Foreign Office cited local media as saying a "major military operation" was under way in parts of St. James Parish.

Anderson said much of the crime is driven by conflicts between criminal groups over control of the highly lucrative lottery scamming trade, drug movements and general turf wars.

The state of emergency means security forces have extra powers and some rights will be suspended.

Global travel expert Nick Harris of Simpson Millar solicitors said: "UK tourists are now quite rightly concerned about outbreaks of violence and those due to fly out in the coming days are now trying to cancel their trips over safety fears".

He said: "We need your full co-operation in moving forward in restoring peace and order so that the good people can continue to contribute to the well-being of Jamaica".

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