NYPD Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard has declared Jamaica a safe destination for tourists, offering a striking contradiction to the recent travel advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State regarding the country.
The level 3 travel advisory, issued on January 23, had warned American travellers about the prevalence of violent crimes and substandard medical services in Jamaica, prompting significant backlash from both the public and government officials.
Speaking at a joint press conference alongside Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson, Deputy Commissioner Sheppard expressed sentiments echoing the criticisms of the advisory.
Drawing a comparison between homicides in Jamaica and those in New York, Sheppard emphasised that occasional incidents of violence should not deter visitors, likening the situation to localised crime disparities within a single city.
— Jamaica Constabulary Force (@JamaicaConstab) February 10, 2024
Sheppard’s reassurance extended to applauding Jamaica’s recent accomplishments in crime reduction, citing 2023 as the safest year in the country over the past two plus decades.
He labelled the travel advisory as “misleading,” indicating that it failed to accurately represent the current security situation on the island.
Major General Anderson echoed Sheppard’s sentiments, expressing surprise at the timing of the advisory amid a downward trend in crime rates.
He emphasised Jamaica’s favourable record regarding crime against tourists, noting that out of the 3 million American visitors in 2023, only five fell victim to homicide.
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