All Clear for Zones of Special Operations Legislation

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, addresses the House of Representatives on June 28 as he discussed the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Bill. (File)

Story Highlights

  • The House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 11) approved the amendments made by the Senate to the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Bill.
  • The Bill gives members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) certain powers that are required to address serious crimes.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 11) approved the amendments made by the Senate to the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Bill.

The legislation was passed with 13 amendments by members of the Upper House on Friday (July 9).

The Bill gives members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) certain powers that are required to address serious crimes, while at the same time upholding the rule of law and protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.

It provides for the Prime Minister to declare any geographically defined area as a Zone of Special Operations, if the Commissioner of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff agree in writing that the area should be so declared.

The legislation also empowers members of the joint security forces to search a person, vehicle or place without a warrant, within a Zone, if they reasonably suspect that an offence has been, is being or is about to be committed.

It also provides that a joint command may establish a cordon and declare a curfew in a Zone; promote social and economic development in a Zone through the efforts of the various government agencies and civil society; and provide for the establishment of a Social Intervention Committee to, among other things, develop a sustainable plan for the Zone.

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