Authorities in Jamaica have declared a state of emergency in St Catherine Parish due to a breakdown in law and order. In the three months of 2018 to date, 48 people have been murdered.

Under the state of emergency, police can detained and deported people without a warrant, as well as enter premises and seize property. The US Embassy has issued advice for travellers below.

The state of emergency covering St James Parish, which include the tourist resorts of Montego Bay, was recently extended until early May.

From the US Embassy in Jamaica

LocationPortions of St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica

EventThe U.S. Embassy in Kingston advises U.S. citizens that, effective March 18, the Government of Jamaica has declared a State of Public Emergency covering portions of St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica, based on escalating criminal activity and threats to public safety and the rule of law.  The State of Public Emergency, declared under the 1966 Emergency Powers Act, allows Jamaican security forces within the borders of St. Catherine Parish to arbitrarily detain and deport suspicious persons, enter premises, and seize property without warrant.  Expect to encounter increased police and military presence, checkpoints, and searches of persons and vehicles within the borders of St. Catherine Parish.

The State of Public Emergency covers the following area of St. Catherine Parish:

Northern boundary – from the intersection of the St. Catherine, St. Ann, and Clarendon Parish boundaries and running east toward Garfield Road to the Moneague leg of the North-South Highway, to Guy’s Hill square;

Eastern boundary – from the parish boundary, running south to Sligoville to the intersection of Highway 2000, to Lakes Pen Road, Port Henderson Road, Salt Pond Road, and to the Hill Run main road;

Southern boundary – from the Hartland main road to the Hill Run main road;

Western boundary – from the parish boundary running south to Ginger Ridge to Blue Hole to Marley Hill to Dover Road, and to the intersection of PJ Patterson Highway and then to the Hartland main road.

Actions to Take:

  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Cooperate with any police or military personnel you may encounter.
  • Do not resist a police or military inspection of your vehicle and personal belongings.
  • Allow additional time for transit on the roads in the areas noted above.

Please click here for more information, including contact details for the embassy.

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