I know this is an old thread, but I asked a question and was pointed here by Cam.
I visited Jamaica four times in the last three years. Stayed in St. Annes, place called Runaway Bay. Spent some time in Ocho Rios and visited a lot of places around the area.
I did not observe crime - other than every third person attempting to sell me ANYTHING they happened to have on them, including various forms of drugs. Usually if I said, "Not interested" or "I don't use that stuff, don't need it" they left me alone.
One persistent fellow - nice enough guy, followed us around for about ten minutes asking if we wanted to ride in his taxi. He was making my wife nervous so I stopped and faced him and said, "We don't require your taxi services today, I know my way around and we're trying to get someplace within walking distance. Do you need anything else?"
He stopped and responded, "No, do you want to buy some drugs?"
I laughed and said, "Taxi to drugs... do you sell other things?"
So I responded... "The people for whom I work at home would likely frown on Federal Agents buying drugs or counterfeit watches"...
He scurried off.
(No, I didn't say I was a Federal Agent, I simply said that the people at home that I worked for would frown on Agents doing those things... and they would
Anyway, over the past few years I've only seen the touristy areas so I can't speak about the south side of the island. Then again, seeing the rampant poverty in some of the areas through which I passed, I can only surmise that these things would all be true.
So - as much as we like the area - I think we will avoid going back there, as cruisers.