Violent crime, including armed robbery, kidnapping and murder is a serious problem in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston, Spanish Town and Montego Bay. It is often gang-related and perpetrators may be armed.
In Kingston, we recommend avoiding Tivoli Gardens, Whitfield Town, Payne Land, West Kingston, Grant’s Pen, August Town, Denham Town, Hannah Town, Arnett Gardens, Olympic Gardens, Harbour View, Central Village, Spanish Town, Mountain View, Trench Town, Cassava Piece, Canterbury, Norwood and Rose Heights.
In Montego Bay, we recommend avoiding St Clavers Avenue and Hart Street, Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Rose Heights and Mount Salem.
Gang violence along Mountain View Avenue has led to motorists being shot in the crossfire. Avoid using this route when travelling to Norman Manley International Airport. The risk of robbery when travelling to and from Norman Manley International Airport increases at night.
Do not walk alone and be particularly careful after dark. Avoid visiting beaches and using buses at night, and always keep windows up and doors locked while in vehicles. Be wary on public transport as it is often overcrowded and frequently a venue of crime.
Crime, including sexual assault and robbery, has occurred after travellers have accepted 'spiked' food or drink, including in tourist resorts. Do not leave your drink unattended or accept food or drinks from strangers. Be wary of approaches from overly 'friendly' strangers. There have been reports of sexual assaults at tourist resorts carried out by resort staff and even other tourists.
If you are attacked or robbed, do not resist. Criminals are often armed and you could be seriously injured or killed.
You should not accept rides from unknown individuals at any time or use unofficial taxis as travellers have been robbed and assaulted. We recommend you use taxis authorised by the Jamaican United Travellers' Association (JUTA), which can be ordered from the hotel or by a uniformed attendant at the airport.
Petty crime, including pickpocketing and bag snatching occurs, particularly in Old Kingston. Valuables such as jewellery, handbags, phones and cameras can make you a target for criminals, so minimise the amount that you carry.
Ensure your accommodation has adequate security, such as guards or security fences, particularly if you are staying in villa-style accommodation.
Credit card and ATM fraud is increasing in Jamaica. Take care when using credit cards at supermarkets and other retail outlets and be aware of your surroundings when using ATMs. You should attempt to keep your credit card in sight when making purchases.
In the past, violence has occurred in Kingston with little or no warning. In Kingston, you should be vigilant, take precautions to ensure your safety and comply with instructions from relevant security authorities.
Avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent, possibly involving the use of firearms. Road closures may occur at short notice so plan any journeys in advance and monitor local media for updates. Authorities may impose curfews at short notice. Monitor local news reports for the latest information.
Impromptu demonstrations, often with roadblocks, can occur along the roads leading to Norman Manley International Airport.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to
report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest
Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
Be careful to avoid the loss or theft of your passport. Travellers are likely to experience significant delays and expense arranging the replacement of travel documents in Jamaica where there is no resident Australian Embassy or High Commission.