Security is an issue. . . though not usually in the well-protected beach resorts. Walking around towns without a guide is not recommended unless you’re a well-traveled backpacker and feel comfortable in dodgy locations, nor are island tours without guides a good idea.
If you get into casual conversation with a local on the beach or elsewhere, do not admit that it’s your first time in Jamaica (marking you as an innocent lamb for the slaughter) and definitely do not tell him/her where you are staying (unless you want a midnight visit).
However, most of the violent crime here happens in the ghettoes and you won’t be anywhere near those, but still you’d do well observe anti-theft procedures such as carrying minimum cash/cards, not wearing bling outside your hotel, don’t wander off randomly around town and lock car and hotel windows at night.
Marijuana, also known as ganja, is cheap, potent and illegal here. Foreigners are especially vulnerable to arrest due to the lucrative pay-off potential for both snitches and police.
We should also point out that this country has a brutal attitude to gays/lesbians and in spite of Bob Marley’s well-known chorus line ‘”Stand up for your rights! “, we don’t recommend you preach the homosexual gospel here, or even display a mild tendency in that direction. Better to go to a more welcoming island.
But do note that Jamaicans are chatty and friendly to heteros so try to relax!