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Government Introduces New Public Order Bill


RJR News / The Jamaican Government has introduced new legislation aimed at restoring public order in the society, among other goals.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness a short while ago tabled the bill in the House of Representatives, titled, An Act to provide for special measures for upholding and preserving the Rule of Law, public order, citizen security and public safety within certain geographically-defined areas of Jamaica; and for connected matters.

The shortened title is The Zones of Special Operations, Special Security and Community Development Measures Act, 2017.  

The Bill seeks to establish the legal framework in which the Prime Minister, acting on the advice of the National Security Council may declare any high crime area of Jamaica a zone for special security operations and community development measures.  

The statute, he explained, was “designed to give effect to a well-established and practiced security and community building strategy termed ‘Clear, Hold, Build'”:

Clear – Law Enforcement goes into selected community and saturate community with their presence and displaces the criminal element, and removes their space to operate while at the same time reassuring law abiding citizens. Hold – Law Enforcement maintains a sustainable level of presence and control over the area, creating the space and support for a multi-sectoral intervention into the community to address outstanding and critical human needs and basic infrastructure.  Build – Psycho-cultural, social capital, and leadership and organization building and support.  

This legislation was breaking new ground in law enforcement strategy in Jamaica, Mr. Holness declared.

” I believe in this Bill we have struck the right balance of resolute policing with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. I urge its quick passage so that me may save innocent Jamaicans form being deprived of their right to life and the enabling freedoms and security to enjoy it,” he added.  


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