Security Minister Says NIDS will Help to Fight Crime

Photo: Michael Sloley National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague (right), listens to Retired Commissioner of Police of the Royal St. Lucia Police Service, Errol Alexander (left), at a graduation ceremony for 18 law enforcement professionals at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on December 8. At centre is Academic Affairs Director at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC), Amoy Bernard-Morrison.

Story Highlights

  • National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, is endorsing the establishment of the National Identification System (NIDS), as a means to combat crime.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Montague wants harsher penalties for those found in possession of illegal firearms, as well as those persons convicted of gun crimes, as illegal guns are involved in approximately 80 per cent of the murders committed in the country.
  • The Minister was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 18 law-enforcement professionals, following the completion of a two-week instructor training and development course at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on December 8.

National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, is endorsing the establishment of the National Identification System (NIDS), as a means to combat crime.

Mr. Montague reasoned that a verifiable system of identification in Jamaica, as well as in the rest of the Caribbean, would enable law-enforcement authorities to properly identify the perpetrators of crime.

The Minister was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 18 law-enforcement professionals, following the completion of a two-week instructor training and development course at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on December 8.

Under NIDS, which is scheduled for implementation in 2019, a reliable database of all Jamaican citizens will be established and will involve the issuance of a unique life-long National Identification Number to every person. The system will also collect two forms of biometrics – fingerprints and facial recognition.

“Recently at the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), we introduced facial recognition in the application of passports. What we found was over 600 hits of people with multiple identities and passports. Saying your passport is a proper means of identification is (questionable),” Mr. Montague said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Montague wants harsher penalties for those found in possession of illegal firearms, as well as those persons convicted of gun crimes, as illegal guns are involved in approximately 80 per cent of the murders committed in the country.

The Minister pointed out that the graduation of the 18 persons demonstrates the region’s commitment to the eradication of drugs and drug-related activities.

The course was offered by the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC) at the NPCJ.

The men and women will add to the over 350 law-enforcement professionals trained by REDTRAC since the start of the year.

For her part, Academic Affairs Director at REDTRAC, Amoy Bernard-Morrison, said the 18 individuals are expected to return to their respective spheres to be effective trainers.

The participants were constables, corporals and sergeants of police, and one technical and legal officer. They were presented with certificates.

The instructor training and development course is aimed at developing the teaching capabilities of participants and enabling them to teach any given subject area at any level.

Among the modules covered were public speaking, lesson planning and the psychology of learning, among other topics.

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