A state of emergency has been declared in Montego Bay, Jamaica following a spate of shootings.

A "major military operation" is underway as soldiers are deployed in the region.

British tourists have been told to stay in their resorts due to the escalating crime wave in St James Parish, where there were 335 murders last year.

Warning residents and tourists of the deadly attacks, Prime minister Andrew Holness said "the level of criminal activity is of such a nature and so extensive in scale as to endanger public safety".

Police have released photos of five men wanted in connection with crimes, including murder.

A curfew has been imposed in St James and St Catherine parish, west of the capital of Kingston and police have been given additional powers to search properties and arrest suspects without a warrant.

The UK Government has urged Britons to stay in their hotels while the "major" military operation takes place in St James Parish.

The Foreign Office said: "You should limit your movements outside of resorts in the area at this time, and exercise particular care if travelling at night.

"Travel to and from the airport or for excursions should be undertaken with organised tour operators, and transport should be arranged or provided by the resort hotels."

Tourists have reported an increased military presence as vehicles coming in and out of the area are searched.

According to Sky News, security minister Robert Montaque assured that security forces will only be targeting criminals, and appealed to people for information.

He said: "We need your full co-operation in moving forward in restoring peace and order so that the good people can continue to contribute to the well-being of Jamaica".

Around 206,000 British nationals visited Jamaica in 2016.