These 7 Places are Best Known for Crime and Violence in Jamaica

Although Jamaica is known worldwide as one of the best vacation spots in the Caribbean, it is also known for having one of the highest crime rates. The following list will cover some of the places on the island that have seen the most violence. 

This list was curated by based on local and international notoriety of the areas.


These regions and communities are best known for their high crime rates over the past 20-40 years. While some areas are less active than others nowadays, all of them produced bloody periods in Jamaica’s history.


Spanish Town is known to be one of the most active areas for gang violence in Jamaica and is said to be the base for the most notorious gang, the Clansman Gang, as well as the One Order gang. Just recently, a reported Clansman gang leader was shot and killed by police and the area erupted in violence, resulting in curfews and increased police presence.

According to the Jamaica Gleaner, Spanish Town was dubbed ‘The Valley of Death’ and labelled as the most dangerous place to live in 2010. So far in 2024, the area has seen around 22 killings and multiple other firearm and ammunition recoveries.


This community was known as a slum or garrison due to the conditions in which its residents lived and it became a popular hub for international drug trade between Jamaica and the United States (U.S.). Infamous crime boss Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke was seemingly at the center of the drug trade before his arrest and extradition to the U.S. in 2010. 

The time of Dudus’ arrest was called the ‘Tivoli Gardens Incursion‘ due to the number of civilians killed when police and soldiers descended on the town. The area is also known for its numerous violent confrontations between gunmen and law enforcement agencies.


Montego Bay Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates as it is plagued by gun violence and it has seen up to 42 murders this year so far, which is higher than any other community.

Flankers, located in Montego Bay, St. James, has seen its share of high-profile murders (such as the recent killing of a man in Flankers said to have been a person of interest in several shootings and other crimes in the Montego Bay area), and was labelled as ‘the most violent place in the country’ in 2007.


Despite its historical significance, Rockfort is listed amongst the many communities that suffered from criminal insurgence. During the period of 2012-2022, the rivalry and infighting between gangs in the area was responsible for the majority of the murders in Rockfort. 

It had seemed like peace had reigned in Rockfort until a gang-related shootout at a party in 2023 resulted in 3 dead, and multiple others injured. Once again, crime in the area seems to be on the rise as of late last year.


Grants Pen is one of the most violent communities in St. Andrew, if not the most violent. Just last year, a steep decline in business was reported in Grants Pen after multiple murders and a 48hr curfew was carried out in September. 

Though seemingly not as prominent as before, the illegal possession of firearms is still an issue in the community. Recently young dancehall artiste Jahshii who is from Grants Pen was accused of being responsible for a killing that took place in the area. Jahshii denied the allegations and also reported to the Constant Spring Police Station on the matter.


Home of Reggae artiste Sizzla Kalonji, August Town has also had its fair share of criminal activities in upper St. Andrew with seven listed gangs present in the small area. Due to the increased violence from the gangs battling each other for dominance, a ZOSO (zone of Special Operations) was declared in 2020.

Named after the month when Jamaica gained Emancipation, the town has a rich history and residents hold out hope that change will sweep the area soon.


Last on our list is the community of Arnett Gardens, otherwise called ‘Jungle’ or the ‘Concrete Jungle’. While the community is famous for its notable football team, like two sides of the same coin, it is also known for its numerous gangs, originating from the different factions of the community which have their own dons or gang leaders.

Arnett Gardens has clashed several times with the gangs in Tivoli Gardens, as well as experience their own inner community violent crimes, including the rape, murder, and torching of a 14-year-old teenage girl back in 2018. 

Though ‘wi likkle but wi tallawah’, Jamaica is still a growing nation in need of guidance and security from the multitude of ills and crimes that continue to plague and mar the good name of the island.

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