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NYPD and Jamaica Officials Address Safety Concerns Amid Travel Advisory, Urging Tourists to Visit Island

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NYPD and Jamaican Officials Dispel Safety Fears After Travel Advisory

Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard and Police Commissioner of Public Information of Jamaica Major General Antony Anderson Push Back Against Travel Advisory

Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard took a boots-on-the-ground approach to the ominous travel advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State, spending from Feb. 6 to Feb. 9 meeting with police officials and surveying the lay of the land for himself alongside Police Commissioner of Public Information of Jamaica Major General Antony Anderson. The advisory classified Jamaica as unsafe to visit, citing violent crimes and ineffective response times by police.

Sheppard, joined by Major General Antony Anderson, spoke to amNewYork Metro via Zoom about his visit, expressing surprise at the announcement and emphasizing the importance of tourism to the country’s economy. Sheppard highlighted the shared issue of perception versus reality of crime statistics in both New York City and Jamaica, and the need to combat misinformation to ensure people feel safe.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness also made a public statement pushing back against the travel advisory, stating that crime is the lowest it has been in the past 22 years. Major General Antony Anderson stressed that major crime is down 11%, murder reduced by 8%, and rape is down 15%. The Jamaican police force is about a third of the size of the…

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