The U.K. Foreign Office has issued a warning to tourists to stay in their resorts after an uptick of deadly shootings sweeps Montego Bay, EurWebreports.
Military personnel stepped in after 13 people were killed in the St. James parish of Montego Bay over the weekend.
“[Tourists] should follow local advice including restrictions in selected areas, and exercise particular care if traveling at night. [They] should stay in their resorts and limit travel beyond their respective security perimeters,” the U.K. travel advisory states.
The Canadian advisory used similar verbiage, explaining that traveling to the St. James Parrish poses “an extreme risk to your personal safety and security.”
Jamaica’s chief of defense, Major General Rocky Meade, said armed forces in the area are focusing on gang activity, targeting “those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion.”
A U.S. state department advisory issued on January 10th urged Americans to exercise “extreme caution” when traveling to Jamaica, and to avoid some areas of Kingston and Montego Bay.
“Violent crime, such as home invasions, armed robberies, and homicide, is common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents,” the statement reads.
Local Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner reported the number of killings in 2018 is up from last year, with 38 homicides since the New Year.
335 people were killed in the St. James parish last year.