Police to Increase Stop-and-Search Operations

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Corporate Communication Unit, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay (2nd left), addresses recent JIS ‘Think Tank’ about additional security measures to protect persons during the festive season. Others (from left) are Acting Director of Communications at the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC); Dorothy Campbell; Senior Deputy Superintendent and Public Relations Officer at the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Emilio Ebanks; and Sergeant Shaunjaye Mitchell.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be increasing stop-and-search operations during the festive season.
  • “We don’t want persons to think they are being stopped arbitrarily. We will stop persons if we detect that there is a breach (of the law), or if the vehicle matches a description of a car in question based on intelligence received,” head of the JCF Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, said .
  • The Superintendent added that although a person may be stopped for a traffic violation, he or she can be searched for a firearm or other dangerous weapon if the police suspect that there could be other violations relating to the Firearms Act.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be increasing stop-and-search operations during the festive season.

Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Head of the JCF Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, said there will be a surge in the number of police on the ground during the festive season to counter the increase in robberies and the large migration of criminals at this time of year.

“We don’t want persons to think they are being stopped arbitrarily. We will stop persons if we detect that there is a breach (of the law), or if the vehicle matches a description of a car in question based on intelligence received,” Superintendent Lindsay said.

She noted that the police have been briefed on the correct procedures to apply when carrying out searches, which include communicating to the citizen the reason for the action.

The Superintendent pointed out that there are several provisions under the law that give the police the authority to seize a motor vehicle.

“If there are breaches of the Road Traffic Act, meaning if you are caught speeding; if it is detected that your licence plate is not affixed; if you don’t have the sticker to indicate that your vehicle is registered; or if you have a fake registration plate, then you will be stopped,” she said.

The Superintendent added that although a person may be stopped for a traffic violation, he or she can be searched for a firearm or other dangerous weapon if the police suspect that there could be other violations relating to the Firearms Act.

Superintendent Lindsay said the same can be done under the Customs Act, if there are signs of ‘uncustomed’ goods such as illegal alcohol and even ‘fake’ cigarettes.

“You can also be stopped under the Praedial Larceny Act, since many stolen agricultural crops are being transported across the island,” she said.

Miss Lindsay said Section 19 of the JCF Act is another area that gives the police the power to stop and search for illegal guns, illegal gaming material and stolen goods/property that are being transported.

She noted that most of the firearms seized, especially during this time of the year, are found during stop-and-search operations.

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