BY NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Nov. 16, 2022: Crime continues to be a bugbear for many Caribbean countries with the US State Department warning nationals to reconsider travel to one Caribbean country.
The US is warning Americans to reconsider travel to Trinidad and Tobago due to crime in the twin-island Republic.
“Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to terrorism and kidnapping,” the advisory states. “Some areas have increased risk.”
U.S. government personnel are now prohibited from travelling Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah in Port Of Spain, the country’s capital and prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain after dark, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.
“Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain,” the advisory states. “Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common. Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.”
The advisory comes as Trinidad and Tobago’s murder rate surpassed 585 murders so far this year.
Meanwhile, in Jamaica, crime has caused the country’s prime minister to declare a state of emergency in several areas, including the popular tourist destination of Montego Bay.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday declared a state of public emergency in parts of the capital city Kingston and in some central and western parishes in an attempt to control rising crime linked to gang violence.
States of emergency give authorities increased powers, including the ability to search buildings and carry out arrests without warrants.
Last month, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning suggesting that Americans reconsider traveling to Jamaica due to rising crime, explaining that “the homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere.”
“Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common,” the warning said. “Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.”