Jamaica: Some of the world's best scenery – and the world's worst murder rates
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Sunday 13 January 2013
Picture-postcard-perfect beaches and dramatic mountain scenery blessed by a Caribbean sun; three million welcoming citizens, keen to share their entrancing heritage; and a murder rate to make the world shudder – these are the conflicting faces of Jamaica.
On a typical day, 500 British nationals touch down on the island. Almost all will return with warm memories. But Jamaica's homicide record is among the very worst in the world. On average, one murder takes place every seven hours. That is twice as often as in the UK, on an island with a population just one-20th of the size.
The Foreign Office warns bluntly of "high levels of crime and violence" and urges "do not offer resistance in the event of an attempted robbery". British tourists are warned to dine around: "Frequenting the same place too often might make you a target for thieves". And anyone contemplating a fly-drive holiday is urged not to take their car into Kingston "unless you are fully acquainted with the route and are driving in daylight hours".
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...