Letter: Murder island

Sir: Let us hope Kenneth Taylor's chilling account of the growing numbers of British-Jamaican pensioners who have been murdered after retiring to Jamaica ("Paradise lost", 19 March) will finally force the Jamaican government to move away from its usual defensive stance on such reports, and do whatever is necessary to stop these slaughters of innocent pensioners when they return to what they genuinely hoped would be "home sweet home in paradise".

For too long, the Jamaican government and many Jamaicans have tended to be defensive when issues such as the appalling levels of crime and violence in Jamaica are exposed in the foreign media. The common complaint, particularly from the Jamaican High Commissioner here in Britain, is that Jamaica always gets negative reporting in the British media and stories are often reported "out of context".

The reality is clear: in 1998 alone, over 900 people, including a number of pensioners from Britain and the USA, were murdered in Jamaica, a country of just 2.5 million people.

If the Jamaican government is serious about wanting visitors and expatriates to "come to Jamaica and feel all right", then it had better start finding solutions quickly to its biggest challenge, the frightening reality of crime and violence in Jamaica.

B D BURRELL

North Greenford, Middlesex

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