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Negril Safety #25078
01/27/2014 05:58 PM
01/27/2014 05:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 623
Milwaukee, Wi.
Halfwindy Offline OP
Traveler
Halfwindy  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 623
Milwaukee, Wi.
There's been threads of how dangerous Jamaica is for tourists.
Here's a rant by the owner/administrator of Negril.com.
Used with his permission--

My turn to rant....



This is coming from a personal perspective of someone who has chosen to move to Negril and become part of the life in Negril.

There is much discussion recently about safety in Negril and Jamaica and what steps can be taken to avoid problems. I have seen many changes since my first visit 30 years ago and now, being a 20+ year daily resident of Negril, I still see changes.

You no longer have to wait on ice, water, septic trucks, phones or electric service. There is now running water, a sewage system, multiple phone companies, internet and reliable electricity. There is regular garbage pickup, a new sidewalk and even traffic lights over Norman Manley Blvd. This was unthinkable back in the early 80's.

Along with this growth, things are bound to change. When I grew up in Columbus, Ohio in the early 60's, you didnt need to lock your doors and kids were running around all over the neighbourhood. By the mid 70's, this was now unwise behaviour. Times had changed for Columbus. But Columbus is still a great place to live that many people enjoy on a daily basis. Ohio State football home games are an event not to miss!

Back when I first visited Negril, there were not even 1 million visitors total to Jamaica at the time, with Negril receiving a small percentage of those visitors. This year we surpassed 2 million overnight visitors for the first time. And it looks like Negril will have hosted about a half million of those visitors for the first time. In 2012, Negril hosted about 415,000 visitors. Over the past 3 years, well over a million people have come and enjoyed our little piece of paradise.

After living here daily for over 20 years, I have had zero incidents of theft. That is zero, as in none. I am not naive enough to believe it can never happen, but in 20 plus years, it hasnt. And I dont think "being lucky" has much to do with it. The vast majority of those over a million visitors to Negril in the past 3 years have also experienced zero incidents of theft. Negril, with a small local population takes it personally when a visitor does experience an incident. And they are few and far between when you consider half a million people a year are visiting the tropical shores of Negril.

As reported by Hussyband during his incident, the neighbour women all came to his and his wife's rescue wanting to help. The police were very responsive to the problem and took active measures to help. And in the most recent story related, once again the neighbours stayed up all night with Kahuna3 and the police responded quickly to the incident.

In both these cases, the incident could have been prevented, admittedly by those that it happened. Not taking route taxis would have prevented the first case, and using the locking mechanism and deadbolt provided by the property would have prevented the second. Of course it was the thief that caused the incident and is the guilty party, but leaving oneself open to be an easy target does increase your odds of incident happening substantially anywhere.

Staying out til 3am at Scrub-a-Dub may not be the wisest behaviour. Walking in unlit areas at night may not be the smartest thing you could do. Never invite someone you just met back to your room. Just because someone seems charming and you have shared a few drinks and stories does not make them a "friend". Con-artists rely on this flaw in human nature and take advantage of it at every opportunity. And this goes for locals and tourists alike. I have seen more than my share of tourist on tourist crime. It takes years of substantial interaction for someone to become a real friend. If you feel you have made a real friend on your first trip, that person is probably looking out for their own interests more than they are yours.

And since that scourge of cocaine has been brought up, if you get yourself involved in that area, well, you may get exactly what you deserve. And remember, without the demand, there would be no supply. Jamaicans will not waste their time trying to sell something no one wants.

Also, there are almost always at least two sides to every story you hear on the net. Dont blindly believe them. A poster came up with a "list" of incidents that he had "heard" about. Well, we know a bit of the other side to some of those stories, and they happened over 3 year time period.

I wouldnt put too much reliability on anything that an admitted cocaine user says happened. Heck, back in the 80's when I worked the rock-n-roll circuit in Ohio, I saw many people empty their ATM accounts in one night and then have no memory of it in the morning and then blame everyone but themselves.

Another of these incidents involved a pair of sunglasses that the owner admitted they left at a bar and wrote it off as a case of "finders keepers". They have no idea who took the glasses and blame themselves for leaving them at the bar. To call it a case of theft is a bit over the top.

And for another incident, let's be fair, a coffee cup is not the most secure place you can put your money. I am not blaming the victim, but I am sure there was a better spot to hide the money.

And some cases are pure fiction. I happened to be at a hotel early one morning to work on their wireless when the police showed up. The woman and her Jamaican boyfriend claimed their room was broken into while they were gone and all their cash, credit cards and traveler's checks were stolen. They said they couldnt pay for the room and that since they were robbed, the hotel should let them stay for free. Oddly enough, the police found no sign of forced entry and their iPad, laptop, camera and smartphones were all sitting in plain sight, all items that could be easily sold. And yet they were not touched. Just because you hear one side of a story, please dont blindly believe it.

And on the topic that was brought up about human trafficking, that is a world wide problem. Please check you local MSNBC listing for their shows that highlight the countless incidents of human trafficking happening in North America. It is shameful that it happens anywhere - but to only think that it happens in the developing country is amazingly naive.

And tonight, there will be 100's of visitors that will get so inebriated on their drug of choice that they will not remember how they got back to their room. And yet they will arrive safe and sound without incident. This happens every single day in Negril and like their behaviour or not, they end up just fine.

It is foolish to think you have to be on your "A Game" all the time and quite frankly, I have seen many that make it just fine on their B, C or even D Game. Negril is an extremely safe place to vacation. The fact that we all can only come up with a few number of incidents per year should make you think. Thanks to the internet, all the information is now out there - no one can hide anything anymore.

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Negril Safety #25079
02/07/2014 11:50 AM
02/07/2014 11:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,271
sail445 Offline
Traveler
sail445  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,271
I was under the impression that the increase in tourism was because they counted the passengers on cruise ships that entered for the day and then left.

Re: Negril Safety [Re: sail445] #25080
02/07/2014 12:05 PM
02/07/2014 12:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 623
Milwaukee, Wi.
Halfwindy Offline OP
Traveler
Halfwindy  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 623
Milwaukee, Wi.
Cruise ship passengers from Montego Bay and Falmouth don't even know about Negril, let alone waste 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours of their precious shore time to get there.
There are no cruise ships in Negril.
The explosion in tourism IN NEGRIL over the past 20 years is real.

Negril Safety #25081
02/07/2014 12:36 PM
02/07/2014 12:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,271
sail445 Offline
Traveler
sail445  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,271
Having never been to Jamaica I was going by your quote:
" Back when I first visited Negril, there were not even 1 million visitors total to Jamaica at the time, with Negril receiving a small percentage of those visitors. This year we surpassed 2 million overnight visitors for the first time. And it looks like Negril will have hosted about a half million of those visitors for the first time. In 2012, Negril hosted about 415,000 visitors. "

From 1 million to 2 million visiting Jamaica and Negril received 415,000 of the 2 million.


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