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Accompong, the town that is hardly Jamaica

With no taxes, no police and hardly any crime, the semi-independent town of Accompong in western Jamaica is an idyll for the traveller looking to get off the beaten track, says Vicky Baker

“So, let me get this straight,” I say, flicking open a can of Red Stripe. “You’re telling me there’s been no crime here in over 250 years?” I’m beginning to wonder if my new Jamaican friends have been smoking too much. “Yeah, mon,” says gold-toothed Flashy, nodding rhythmically as only Jamaicans can.

With shelves sparsely stacked with beers and tinned vegetables, Flashy’s Place, as it’s known, is a cross between a bar and a corner shop. Playing dominoes and watching the evening news, a group of local men of all ages is sitting here tonight, like almost every other, unwinding after a day’s work. The hut can be no more than five metres square, and yet it is quite the social hub.

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