We hear a lot about Carribean sprinters...

…but what about this article?:

Jamaica ‘murder capital of the world’

Crime in the Caribbean region - especially that resulting in murder - continues to concern authorities.
Haiti remains a highly volatile country - with kidnappings now outstripping others in the region. But concern is mounting in other countries: police leave was cancelled in St Kitts before Christmas, while Guyanese police reported a 50 per cent increase in gun crime.

Trinidad ‘more risky’ than New York

A group called Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago have called on their authorities to copy the anti-crime measures adopted in New York City. They are concerned after 2005 saw more than 380 people murdered in the country.

A spokesman for the group suggested that life in Trinidad & Tobago is more than four times more risky than in New York, and have suggested the introduction of security cameras and sporting facilities to attract youngsters away from gang membership.

Jamaica ‘murder capital of the world’

Every year global crime statistics present a planetary picture of crime and safety. In the past, some Caribbean cities have appeared on the list of the most violent in the world - but countries like South Africa and Columbia have topped the list.

But according to the Caribbean Media Corporation, Jamaica has now been classed the murder capital of the world, after 2005 saw more than 1600 people killed; a tally of at least five people murdered a day.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister PJ Patterson said, in this final New Year message to the nation before stepping down, that crime was the country’s most pressing problem and called on Jamaicans to play a greater role in the fight against it.

As BBC Caribbean Magazine has reported in 2005, Jamaica’s Operation Kingfish - a task-force set up to deal with violent crime - remains one of the Government’s initiatives at tackling the problem.


While the crime measures taken by NYC may have been beneficial, reading Freakonomics gives one insight into the real reason why crime (as we define it) went down.

Increasing the # of police is a guaranteed way to reduce crime, along with what Freakonomics will tell you ;).

Well that article sure aint helping to reduce crime in the “caribbean” (how does Jamaica, T&T and haiti automatically represent crime in the entire Caribbean??) the music artistes are singing out against it now, the athletes are speaking out against it, the people are speaking out against it, the the government & police are doing all they can, the other islands (like my country St. Vincent) are helping along, so I think the way this article was brought across was dis-tasteful and to careless with terms such as “murder capital of the world”.

I have been to Jamaica before and recently visited this Christmas, and let me tell you, don’t be mislead by the bad press, Jamaica has tons to offer, the murders and crime are almost 100% drug and gang related and only take place in certain areas that you will only go to if you want to go to, you dont just pass them by and get shot contrary to popular belief, those are “secluded”. Its unfair to brand the ENTIRE island as “murder capital of the world” when this is definately not the case.

My Country’s murder rate last year was about 25. But by reading this article you would think the entire Caribbean is plagued with murder. Misleading is an understatement.

You would never see a Caribbean journalist saying “we hear alot about British Sprinters, but…” and I just want us to be treated with the same respect.

Some journalist jump at any opportunity to take a cheap shot at the Caribbean, and I dont like it. :mad:

Well enough was said about British journalism - and journalism generally sells sensations instead of information nowadays.

In fact Colombia and South Africa usually beat Jamaica in the murder per capita statistics.

But the things going on in Jamaica are simply incredible. I lived there for one year (in the 90’s when the murder rate was only half of today’s) and I could tell you endless stories of crime and violence.

Politicians and police are either helpless or currupt. Police does nothing to prevent crime - in fact they contribute to the murder statistics by executing notorious criminals in some hidden corners (often boys younger than 20).

The parties always have deals with the big gangs that rule the ghettos with the most inhabitants (and most voters of course).

If you spend your time in AI resorts or in the countryside or are lucky enough to be able to afford a house in places like Beverly Hills, Jacks Hill, etc. you might have a nice time.
If you live in areas where 80% of the people live you will wake hearing gunshots in the night.

Visiting Trinidad was like a relief - althought the situation is bad too it’s not completely messed up.

Only Barbados seemed to be different - but islands that small are naturally easy to control.

Of course I did not want to hurt anybodys feelings posting the BBC story - I thought it might be interesting to have a closer look at the nation of the Asafa, Bolt, Campbell (and in fact even Ben and Linford)…

Look, Caribbean countries depend largely on income from Tourism to fuel the economy, we dont have the mega industries etc etc, when tourists come from a developed country goes to Jamaica, more likely than not they will reside in hotels, apartments etc, in areas that are generally peaceful and tranquil. In other words, they are 99% of the times not affected by it unless they intentionally go looking for trouble. Talking about the corrupt areas is bad press that we just cant afford, our economy depends on it, we are trying our best to help out jamaica and other places.

I have been to Tobago and it was the best vacation of my life. From what I was told, most of the harsh crimes happened on Trinidad and that Tobago only had smaller crimes like your wallet dissapearing while you were in the ocean. The girls in the group were told to travel in pairs all the time, which is the same as walking around downtown in my city (Kelowna) or pretty much any regular city. We walked around all parts of the island without worry. My honeymoon will be on Tobago. It is amazing there.

I’ve only been to Trinidad, which has a lot to offer besides Carnival, too, if you do not want to stay on the beach/in a hotel the whole time.

We moved around Port of Spain (exept for the ghettos but different to Kingston they are easy to avoid) any time of the day and the worst thing I ever heard happening to a foreigner was his wallet getting picked - but that happens everywhere in the world.

We spent a few days on an old German-Migrant-ex-US-Marines Guesthouse on the northcoast.
The landscape (Rainforrest, River, Beach - you could have miles of beach for yourself alone!) was absolutely incredible.

BTW: The owner was so drunk every evening that he often fell asleep on a chair in front of his house and slept outdoors. Nothing ever happened to him. I’d call that a very secure place…

I guess the biggest threat to T&T is the “Indian vs. African” thing…

Can you tell us about that? What’s going on?

Well it’s T&T peoples business - I do not want to raise racial issues here.
Carribean Nations have all mottos like: “Out of many One People”, “Together we Aspire Together we Achieve” or “One People, One Nation, One Destiny” full stop. They do not want to discuss these issues :wink:

But when a member of one group became President and a member of the other group became Prime Minister in T&T even a foreigner reading newspaper could get to understand whats really going on…

You can find a lot of info on the net, for example: