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Police warned not to confiscate people's recordings/devices

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 12:13 AM

The Police High Command is warning police personnel not to confiscate the recording devices of members of the public or delete their photographs or video-recordings.

The warning comes almost two weeks after the High Command issued a statement encouraging members of the public to record cops carrying out their duties.

It followed a complaint by a St Ann resident who said he was arrested by the police for taking their photographs.

READ: Blogger arrested for photographing cops

In the Police Force Orders issued over the weekend, Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams told cops that they are not authorised to do any confiscation.

He said the recording of people, activities or items plainly visible in public spaces is not a violation of Jamaican laws.

However, the Commissioner has cautioned members of the public against compromising the work of the police through unrestrained recording.

Williams says the capturing and publishing images of officers when they are handling suspects required for identification parades will undermine the soundness of the prosecution’s cases should such cases go on to trial.

He says photographs of officers dealing with minors in conflict with the law are damaging to the general outcome of cases.

The Commissioner also says citizens could face a backlash as police informers if they are seen in photographs interacting with the police.

He is urging members of the public to exercise restraint where their actions could cause more harm than good.