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Crime and violence involves the intent or use of psychological and physical force or power against oneself or another to do harm. It is one of Jamaicas leading causes of economic problem. National Committee on Crime and Violence was formed in the context of rising criminal activity within Jamaica and the feeling among the political leadership of the country that a united front with the full interest and participation of civil society is required to stem the tide. The establishment of the Committee and the recommendations in this report symbolize the unity of purpose and the priority given to finding solutions to the problem of crime and violence. There are different reasons why crime and violence is one Jamaica’s leading and you will read up more about them as you go along.
The aim of this research is to find out what are crime and violence and the effect it as on the country and the tourism sector. How large of an impact does crime and violence have on the tourism industry. What can be done to reduce crime and violence? What is the main contribution to crime and violence? These are question that will be answer in this research.
The research questions were as follows:
1. What was the profile of business operators who were being affected by crime and violence?
2. What was the nature of the impact of crime and violence on these businesses?
3. Who should work to solve this problem?
4. What suggestions did business operators have for solving crime and violence?
Causes of crime and violence
Jamaica has one of the highest crime rates in the world, but a relatively low rate of property crime. Tourism is quite sensitive to crime thus, the main crime are against hotels which tends to be theft at an alarming rate of 72%. About 0.1% (103) of tourists are victims of violent fraudulent victimization i.e. Robbery and extortion. Only a small amount of visitors however are victimized. Despite the high rate of violent crimes in Jamaica, the low rates and prevalence of tourist victimization are explained by the relative low crime rate in tourist areas. Tourist areas tend to have low crime rates however many persons are deterred from coming to the island because of the negative publicity of crime and violence. According to Dunn, studies have revealed that crime and violence are perceive to be the number one problem affects in the tourism industry. Other studies have however revealed that crime and violence cannot be a major indicator of crime and violence because there is no serious relationship between the two. It can however be pointed out that most tourist face harassment when they come to Jamaica especially those stop over tourist. Given the fact that the actual numbers of crime against tourist are not significantly relative to the average, it is the news effect of overall crime rates and the perception of the destination at various points in time that create the fear of Jamaica as an unsaved destination.
The common causes of crime and violence are:
Rates of crime and violence in the tourism sector
Any form of violence in the country affects us all as well as the buying decision for the tourist who wants to take a vacation whether it is the manufacturing, retail or tourism. Still, it is not good for the country so it should be contained.
A recent shooting incident at a prominent all-inclusive hotel in Negril where an employee was injured, has underscored the need to cripple the wave of crime in the island, and the matter has being weighed in on by Wayne Cunningham, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association. Hence, the wave of crime in Jamaica must not be tolerated not only because of the tourism industry but we are all Jamaicans, so this states a clear indicative challenge of crime that we (tourism sector) have to be dealing with.
According to” The Gleaner”, robbery is a main effect occurring in Negril, incidents of tourism-related violence occurring in two weeks or sometimes less, gun man sticking up individuals, the blacks charging the whites more than what should not expected, and so on. These robberies normally occur at an attraction sites (beaches, parks entertainments, shopping schemes, etc.). Thus, some attractions sites really don’t report an incident which occurs to police, and for that, police are unable to attend to the matter taken place.
In effect, Jamaica has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world, but property crime is said to be relatively low. Thus, 33 per 100,000 inhabitants at a rate in 2000 were recorded as intentional homicide, South Africa (52) and Colombia (63) at a low rate. Such incidents per 100,000 Jamaica experienced 215, (665 in South Africa, 95 in Dominica) in terms of recording major assaults. Recorded drug offences are also among the highest in the world, at 452 per 100,000 (370 in Dominica, and highest at 987 in Norway).
In contrast, property crimes are relatively low in Jamaica: recorded burglaries occur at a rate of 92 per 100,000 (1777 in the Dominica, 922 in South Africa, 134 in Mauritius), and total robberies at 89 per 100,000 (78 in Dominica, 460 in South Africa, 98 in Mauritius). In the aggregate, Jamaica experienced a relatively lower 1488 total recorded crimes per 100,000 in 2000 (10763 in Dominica, 7997 in South Africa, 3030 in Mauritius, 1289 in Costa Rica), since non-violent crimes are fewer in Jamaica, but where there is also significant under-reporting owing to low clear-up rates.
In conclusion, high rate of violent crime can have many adverse repercussions; such as:
It has a negative impact on the investment climate and can deter or delay both domestic and foreign investment, and hence growth.
It leads to higher cost of doing business, because of the need to employ different forms of security, and diverts investment away from business expansion and productivity improvement, and may lead to a less than optimal operating strategy.
It can also cause a permanent shut-down of firms or relocation to less crime-prone countries.
It leads to loss of output because of reduced hours of operation (including avoiding night shifts) or loss of workdays arising from outbreaks of violence, and avoidance of some types of economic activity.
Fig. 1.2 graph showing
Figure 1.2 illustrates that murder rate is at 70%, property crime is at 40%, theft is at 60%, and extortion rate is at 90%. However, it’s obviously stated in the graph that extortion rate occurs most in a given community or tourism sector.
The effects of crime and violence have on the tourism industry.
Crime and violence basically means dangerous act being conducted or which is forced up on a victim or upon the country itself, these include murder, rape, and theft, property crime, and extortion, etc.
Tourism is among the top three sources of revenue for the country. Crime and violence has a negative effect on Jamaica and the tourism industry, for one this causes travellers to worry about their safety on the island in which most times lead to them cancelling their trip to Jamaica and going to some other country. The rising in unemployment has often been the reason for the increase in crime and violence which has a negative effect on the times lead to a decline in the growth of the tourism sector, it also affects the development of the human capital and also the social capital meaning crime and violence leads to the migration of persons to leave the labour force in other words it drives away investments.
The crime and violence also has an effect on the cost of the business has it has to deal with the cost, causing the hiring of more securities and if the crime and violence rate was to decrease then there would be an increase in the economy growth and the country would have lots of long term investments. Crime and violence also has an effect on the hotels because if tourist stop visiting the country who will they cater for now and this would lead to the firing of most employees, which would lead to unemployment and most hotels order goods from farmers in the country and this would lead to a decline in the demand for the goods because there is less persons arriving in the country and staying in an hotel and going to restaurants and bars in the hotel.
Crime and violence tremendously affects the tourism sector of this beautiful country and they are a couple of areas with which recommendations can be made and these are as follows:
It is our view that the ministry of tourism in collaboration with the islands police force to come up with a more vigilant approach of establishing a special unit of the police force that is placed at the designated tourism destinations across the island to deal with matters of harassment and the unscrupulous practices that is targeted towards the visitors to the island.
We also believe that the Jamaica tourist board in their efforts should get together a familiarization trip, which involves hosting various numbers of travel agents and large events coordinators to the country in an effort to re-embed the beauty and charms of the island so despite the state of crime and violence within the country Jamaica is still a good place to visit and do business.
We also believe that the government or the security ministry should take into consideration or even go one step further in adapting the strategies of some of our neighboring countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas in the crime fighting initiatives that these countries undertake because these countries boast a relatively lower crime rate than Jamaica.
The crime and violence in Jamaica has increase over the years which are causing a problem in the economic growth in the tourism sector. Each year when tourists come here to enjoy themselves they are either rob or dies. This kind of behavior is causing a downwards slope for the tourism sector and the country. The government is trying to put in place ways in which to get crime and violence under control, so tourists are asked to stay within their attraction and with a tour guide for their safety.
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