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A member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) walks with a toddler in the community of Denham Town in Western Kingston on Wednesday (October 18). Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness on Tuesday (October 17) declared Denham Town the second Zone of Special Operations under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act.

The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Law is aimed at curbing the nation’s crime through security force occupation of vulnerable communities. It also aims to preserve human rights during the period of occupation.

Here are some important points about Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO):

• An area may not be arbitrarily declared a Zone. For an area to be so declared, there must exist “rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder and a threat to the rule of law.”

• An area can be declared a Zone of Special Operations by the Prime Minister after the Chief of Defence Staff and the Commissioner of Police have advised him in writing to do so.

• During an operation, no one can be detained or arrested in a Zone unless proper grounds can be determined by the person in charge (a Major of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) or a Superintendent of Police of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)).

• Anyone who is arrested should, upon arrest be informed of the reason. The individual should be brought before a Justice of the Peace (JP) to determine whether the reason for the arrest is justified. If the JP deems the reason justified, the person should be kept in custody for a maximum of 24 hours. Otherwise, the person should be released immediately.

• No tools of legal trade should be seized.

• Only female security officers may search a female citizen.

• Where vehicles are seized, the owner or person in possession of the vehicle(s) must be provided with a receipt for the item(s), as well as a list noting the item(s) seized.

• An Order revoking a Zone may be made at any time by the Prime Minister.

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of National Security
2 Oxford Road
Kingston 5
Tel: (876) 906-4908-22
Fax: (876) 906-1724
Website: Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) Communications Centre
1-888-225-ZOSO (888-225-9676)

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