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Warnings Issued for Vacationers This Summer


As the summer break season approaches, the United States Department of State has raised concerns to those traveling to Jamaica and the Bahamas. The advisory comes in response to an alarming increase in crime rates in these tropical areas.

According to the US Department of State’s advisories, Jamaica has had recent reports of escalating crime, including incidents of “home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides.” In the Bahamas, there has been an increase in “gang-on-gang violence, burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults.”

Emily Rodriguez, a senior environmental studies major at University of North Georgia, says she has heard of these warnings. Her friends were planning on vacationing at these locations, but luckily were steered away by Rodriguez. “I’m glad I was able to potentially save them from being involved in an incident,” says Rodriguez.

For those visiting these countries, despite the advisories, the local authorities won’t provide much help. Serious crimes as the ones listed before aren’t usually handled properly. In instances when arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence. Families involved in incidents of accidental deaths and homicides wait a year or more for final death certificates to be issued by Jamaican authorities.

Ashley Brehm, a junior communications major at UNG, also knows people traveling to these countries. She said, “These specific friends have already planned their trips out and bought tickets, so there’s no going back for them.”

“It’s unfortunate, but some people would rather take the risk than prioritize their safety.” – Ashley Brehm, Communications major at UNG

The U.S. Department of State has given some recommendations for those traveling to Jamaica:

  • Do not attempt to bring firearms or ammunition. This includes stray rounds, shells or empty casings. The penalties for carrying firearms and/or ammunition, even inadvertently, are severe, and can include lengthy prison sentences.
  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • Avoid public buses.
  • Avoid secluded places or situations.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep a low profile.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Jamaica.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

For those traveling to the Bahamas, here are the recommendations:

As the situation unfolds, it is crucial for vacationers to stay informed, exercise caution, and follow the guidance provided by both local authorities and the US Department of Defense.

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About the Contributor
Trinity Cromwell, Staff Editor
Trinity is a Senior Staff Editor for the Vanguard. She is a Senior Communications major with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism. Celebrity drama is her favorite genre to read about. When it comes to her writing, she loves to investigate topics that pique her interest. If you have a story you want to see published, send her an email! She wants to make sure our students and staff's ideas are heard.
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