JIS News

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has provided details of the regulations, which will be in place during the current State of Emergency imposed on Kingston and St, Andrew since Sunday (May 23).
The regulations give the Competent Authority the power to establish cordons and curfews, disregard for which persons can be placed before a court for punishment in respect of the infringement.
The measures also allow the security forces to prevent persons from being on top of buildings, impeding access to any building and from obstructing any road or path. It also gives powers to the competent authorities to block or divert any road or cordon, any area or premises, to prohibit or regulate access to such places if they see it as being necessary.
The regulations require that notice be given when these activities are taken, however, the form of notice is at the discretion of the Competent Authority. It may decide to do so by way of notices in newspapers or electronic media. Persons will have to get permission from an authorised person for entry or exit when such measures are in effect.
The State of Emergency also allows the security forces to prohibit the carrying of firearms or other weapons; impose curfews and require persons to stay indoors, unless given permission to do otherwise; search premises or vehicles, where persons are suspected or are likely to endanger public safety or where the vehicle is suspected of being used in a manner prejudicial to public safety.
It also allows the arrest and detention of persons whose behaviour gives reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are acting in a manner prejudicial to public safety or have committed an offence against the Regulations. Such persons can be detained up to a period not exceeding 24 hours, and power to detain for a further 5 days on the authority of a Resident Magistrate or a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent.
Persons can also be searched and any article which is suspected or intended to be used in a manner prejudicial to public order or safety can be seized.
The authorities are also empowered to restrict the grant of bail for persons who contravene or fail to comply with provisions of the Regulations, and where it is believed that such persons would be likely to commit a similar offence against the Regulation.
The authorities can also require persons to furnish or produce to the Competent Authority articles or information in possession of persons who are deemed to have information or articles in their possession. They can also requisition essential services, by taking possession of premises apart from cash and securities on notice.
As part of measures accompanying the announcement of a State of Emergency, the state is also required to establish schedules to deal with compensation for the use of property and equipment during the period of state of emergency, as well as establish a Review Tribunal to examine cases of persons in detention or those the subject of restricted access. The Chief Justice is to appoint the Chairman of the Tribunal and the two other members are to be appointed by the Governor General.
The full details of the regulating the period of public emergency are to be published in the Jamaica Gazette.

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