Brutal gang violence leaves British tourists stranded in Jamaican resorts
British tourists in Montego Bay face being stranded in their holiday resorts during a Jamaican military crackdown on escalating gang violence that has seen the murder rate soar.
The UK Foreign Office (FCO) warned holidaymakers that "intensive law enforcement activities" were expected in St James Parish after a state of emergency was declared there on Thursday.
About 200,000 Britons visit Jamaica each year, with many drawn to the luxury resorts and white sandy beaches in Montego Bay , but the surrounding parish has seen a surge in gang-related slayings and violence.
Last year there were six slayings a week on average in St James Parish. Jamaica Constabulary Force Police Commissioner George Quallo said 335 murders were recorded in St James Parish in 2017, almost double other parishes, with "numerous gangs" operating in the area.
The FCO has said holidaymakers should limit their movements outside their resorts in the area, especially if travelling at night. Tourists were also urged to only use transport booked through their hotels.
About 5,000 British tourists are on the island, according to some estimates, and are unlikely to be given full refunds.
Holiday companies will likely to maintain existing terms to customers with advance bookings. Unless the FCO expressly warns against travel, tourists will not be able to switch destination or cancel the trip without penalty.
"All citizens of Jamaica, including the violence producers, can feel safe in the hands of the military, as long as you are not threatening the troops,” said Major General Rocky Meade, chief of defence staff of the Jamaican Defence Force.
"We are ensuring that we enforce the rule of law, that we disrupt gang activities, and the particular focus is on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion," he said.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the crackdown, which has seen checkpoints erected to search vehicles entering and leaving the area, had the support of local tourism industry.
"Several stakeholders, including those in the tourism industry, have written to me to say that they would support the necessary actions to bring the parish of St James under control and restore public safety," he said.
Mr Holness said the government had been planning the operation "for some time".
The Canadian government has also warned its citizens to stay in their resorts.
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office
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Pastor names 190 gangs operating across Jamaica
Monday, July 31, 2017
Tarrant Baptist Church pastor, Rev Jeffrey Shuttleworth, in his daily Prayer for the Nation on TBC Radio, has named 190 gangs operating in 12 parishes in Jamaica.
Of the 190 gangs, the largest number, 48, is in south-west St Andrew, followed by St James with 29, and St Catherine with 24. On the lower end, St Ann has none and St Elizabeth one gang, according to Rev Shuttleworth.
“Almighty God, we place all these named gangs before you, and all other gangs that are unnamed or yet to be named,” the pastor said in a lengthy prayer lasting 19 minutes and 20 seconds.
Following are some of the gangs he named: Southwest St Andrew — Rat Bat Gang; Nitty Gritty Gang; Bully Led Gang; Lower Lyrics Corner Gang; Brook Valley Gang; Top Greenwich Town Gang; 33 Lane Gang; Discipline Crew Gang; Upper Lyrics Gang; Whop Dem Crew; Kid Lane Gang; Middle Greenwich Gang; Bumps Corner Gang; Massacre Gang; Response Crew Gang; Station Road Gang; Vietnam or Back Bush Gang; Dust Gang; Front Scheme Gang; the Soviet Gang; the Moscow or Checkers Crew Gang; Delacree Park Gang; Shotgun Gang; Top Drewsland Gang; Union Gardens Gang; Delacree Lane Gang; Wailers Gang; Black Sea Drive Gang; Ebony Road Gang; G Unit or Cuba Gang; Samocan Gang; Seven Star or Gang Bang Gang; Paladium Crescent Gang; Delamere Road Gang; Frog City Gang; Top Village Gang; Bow Tie Land Gang; Buckers Gang; Lower Drewsland Gang; Lower Greenwich Town Gang; Lower Myrie or McKoy Lane Gang; Mission or Berbick Road Gang; Top Majesty Gardens Gang; Cry Me Dollar Coin Gang; Upper Myrie or McKoy Lane Gang; Colombian Click Gang; Sunshine Gang; Highrise Gang; Spade Corner Gang; New Haven Gang; the Paradise Crew Gang.
St James — the Sparta Gang; the Dare Devils Gang; the Alliance Gang; the Jim Team Gang; the Rebel Men Gang; the Junglists Gang; the Westside Gang; the Joe Gang; the Anchovy Meadows Gang; the Top Five Gang; the Marl Pit Gang; Vietnam Gang; Cassava Piece Gang; Ramble Hill or Train Line Gang; Church Lane Gang; Jamal Gang; Unknown Killers or Stone Crushers Gang; Walthamese Gang; Camp Road Gang; Shanty Town Syndicate Gang; Temple Gang; Buss Head Gang; Green Tank Gang; Matches Lane Gang; Wrong Turn G City Gang; Red Square Gang; Sligoville Gang; Unruly Gang; Big Yard Gang.
St Catherine North — the Klans Gang; One Order Gang; Homestead Gang; Unity Gang; Neil Fearon Gang; Unruly Gang.
St Catherine South — the Umbrella Gang; the Square Stinger Gang; the Little Lane Gang; the Africa Gang; Braeton Gang; Guerrilla Unit Gang; Craft Crew Gang; the Gaza Gang, the Gulf Gang; the Boston Gang; the Banger Gully Gang; Unruly Crew Gang; the China Town Gang; the Lynch Mob Gang; the One Motion Gang; the Unruly Gang; Portmore Lane Gang; the Ants Gang.
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