JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Governments of Jamaica and the United Kingdom (UK) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at strengthening co-operation in the fight against the illicit drug trade.
  • The three-year MoU, which allows for the sharing of information and the provision of human resources and equipment by the UK to Jamaica, is an update of an agreement, signed some two years ago.
  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, in his remarks at the signing ceremony held today (May 28), at his offices in Kingston, said the renewal of the MoU, is yet another concrete demonstration of the strong bonds of friendship between Jamaica and the UK.

The Governments of Jamaica and the United Kingdom (UK) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at strengthening co-operation in the fight against the illicit drug trade.

The three-year MoU, which allows for the sharing of information and the provision of human resources and equipment by the UK to Jamaica, is an update of an agreement, signed some two years ago.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, in his remarks at the signing ceremony held today (May 28), at his offices in Kingston, said the renewal of the MoU, is yet another concrete demonstration of the strong bonds of friendship between Jamaica and the UK.

He said that despite the many successes by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) over the years, including seizures of large quantities of drugs, and arrests and extradition of major drug kingpins, trafficking through Jamaica’s borders remains a major challenge for law enforcement.

Mr. Bunting informed that between 2010 and 2014, the police arrested some 1,200 persons at the ports of entry, including 1,136 at the island’s international airports for drug possession. “The vast majority of those arrested were destined for the United Kingdom,” he said.

The National Security Minister appealed to Jamaicans and visitors to the island “to desist from engaging in the dangerous activity of drug trafficking.”

“Working in tandem with the UK and other bilateral partners, our highly trained law enforcement officers will bring to book, any individual, who seeks to breach our laws and put the entire society at risk,” he warned.

For his part, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency David Fitton, explained that the MoU allows for officers from the UK Border Force, who are based in Jamaica, to work closely with the local police and other security personnel, as well as the Jamaica Customs Department.

The Border Force is a part of the Home Office responsible for frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports in the UK.

“As they are working, they are also helping to train their Jamaican colleagues,” High Commissioner Fitton said, noting that the equipment to be provided under the MoU will be utilised by both the British and Jamaican security officers.

High Commissioner Fitton said the MoU is a good example of Jamaica-UK co-operation that has been replicated in Africa and other parts of the world.