Safety and security
Impromptu demonstrations can take place in non-tourist areas of the inner city of Kingston. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational. Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
The capital of Jamaica, Kingston, is prone to high levels of crime and violence, including kidnapping. You should always take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
- Avoid West Kingston and inner city areas.
- The motive for attacks on tourists is usually robbery. In such cases, do not attempt to resist.
- Avoid walking through the city at night, and avoid walking alone at any time.
Beware of pickpockets, muggers and bag snatchers, especially in areas where large numbers of people crowd together. We recommend that you stay in established hotels away from the inner city.
Lost or stolen passports
If your passport is lost or stolen, you need to report it immediately to the police. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Jamaica, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Honorary Consulate in Kingston or the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.
If you’re planning to drive in Jamaica, you should be careful as there is a high rate of road traffic accidents. Traffic in Jamaica keeps to the left as in Ireland, however much of the road network, especially outside the main cities, is in a poor state of repair. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Avoid public buses and only use taxis regulated by the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association and ordered from a hotel for your sole use.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel, or the US National Hurricane Centre website.
Mon, 29 May 2017 12:48:02 BST