JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The document comprises an e-Passport Booklet and an e-Identification Card (ID) identifying the holder as an INTERPOL officer.
  • The aim is to reduce response times for personnel deployed to assist with transnational criminal investigations, major events or emergency situations.
  • The INTERPOL travel document will be accepted in cases where the official is from a country that would require him/her to have a visa.

Jamaica is to sign an agreement with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), to recognise and accept the entity’s travel document when presented by officials at the island’s borders.

The document comprises an e-Passport Booklet and an e-Identification Card (ID) identifying the holder as an INTERPOL officer, and  granting him/her special immigration status when travelling on official duties to participating member countries.

The aim is to reduce response times for personnel deployed to assist with transnational criminal investigations, major events or emergency situations, by waiving normal visa requirements.

Addressing Wednesday’s (February 12) Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer said Cabinet has approved the arrangement.

She noted that the INTERPOL travel document will be accepted in cases where the official is from a country that would require him/her to have a visa; and where they are presented with a letter of invitation from the relevant authorities in Jamaica, and a valid national passport.

She said that the agreement is to be reviewed in three years. “As you are aware, INTERPOL is mandated under international public law to ensure and promote mutual assistance between all the police authorities within the limits of the laws in the different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,” she said.

Providing further details on the matter, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Kevin Blake, said the document, which is of international standard and bears 29 security features, will reduce travel time for INTERPOL officials.

“Without the INTERPOL travel document, what happens is that there is a significant portion of the time for logistics planning and to get INTERPOL officials into member states, that is taken up by applying for visas, the cost and all of that,” he said.

He noted that the document will not only be utilized for criminal investigations, but also in providing assistance during natural disasters.

“We may not have certain capability here in Jamaica (in search and rescue) that may exist in other partnering INTERPOL member states and the last thing you want to do in a situation (of disaster) is to cause hassle (for) these officials, who want to come and provide assistance,” ACP Blake said.

He informed that Jamaica is the 68th INTERPOL member country to recognize the travel document, adding that the organization is aiming to reach 100 states for its 100th anniversary in November.

The INTERPOL National Central Bureau for Jamaica operates out of Kingston as part of the operations portfolio of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

INTERPOL Kingston is the principal platform for Jamaican police investigations requiring international outreach.  It engages in police co-operation activities daily at local, regional and international levels.

INTERPOL is an inter-governmental organization facilitating international police collaboration.