JIS News

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has launched its Offences, Points to Prove and Authorities Handbook 2021.

The handbook is a comprehensive electronic refence tool which will provide users with concise explanations of the key elements required to establish certain criminal offences and identify gaps in the evidence around crucial legal issues and points of law. The electronic handbook is to be made available on the JCF’s https://jcf.gov.jm website with immediate effect. It will also be circulated among members of staff via the JCF’s internal communications system and will be shared with key stakeholders of the JCF.

Notably, the handbook provides guidance on key elements of 104 offences and supplementary guidance on 103 related legal terms.

Among other things, it contains the applicable sentence ranges, the offence wordings, definitions for legal terms, key authorities, case log and the actual legislation that creates the offences, as well as original judgements.

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, in his address at the virtual launch of the handbook on Friday (November 5), said the development of the handbook is part of the transformation of the organisational structures of the JCF, specifically the redevelopment of the Force’s Legal Affairs Division.

He noted that the development of the handbook is essential to building the capacities of the investigative process and strengthening the legal framework.

“We have to become better and better at what we do – utilising new technologies, new methods, restructuring how we train and look after our people so that we can get the best from them. [We have to become better at] how we equip them to do the task that we have embarked upon and [the task] we ask them to do,” he emphasised.

Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, said the handbook will be a critical tool in the improvement of the quality of cases that are brought before the courts.

“This particular handbook is going to go a far way in what I would call the continuing legal education in law enforcement,” she said, noting that it is critical for investigators to be knowledgeable of the law, practice, and possible sentencing for a particular offence for the successful administration of justice.

Charge d’Affaires United States Embassy in Kingston John McIntyre, pointed out that the handbook’s target audience is not limited to JCF investigators, but will be useful to all officers involved in the criminal justice system.

“The development of the handbook exemplifies positive outcomes which ensues when criminal justice stakeholders collaborate and develop the resources to institutionalise best practices,” he observed.

It is intended to support and improve case file preparation and overall quality, as well as the investigative capacity of JCF members and stakeholders.

The handbook can be utilised from the investigative stage up to prosecution and conviction being secured.

The handbook was developed through the collaborative efforts of the JCF, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Integrity Commission. Funding for the production of the handbook was provided through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States Embassy in Kingston.

Skip to content