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Gov't eyes new ticketable offences

Published:Friday | January 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

WITH PLANS to introduce a ticketing system for infractions committed under the proposed Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015, Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding said this could be a template for dealing with other minor offences outside of the courts.

"I anticipate that this will become a tool which can be used for other types of minor offences as well, because we need to move as many of the sort of offences that don't really need to be handled by court out of the courts system, because of the challenges we have in managing the volume of cases in the courts," said Golding at Wednesday's Jamaica House media briefing.

For years, the court system has been overburdened by a huge backlog of cases some of which include minor offences.

Under the proposed Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015, the possession of two or less ounces of ganja as well as the smoking of ganja in public places will become ticketable offences that are not subject to powers of arrest or detention and will not result in a criminal record.

Ticketing challenges

Asked whether the proposed ticketing system under the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015, would be fraught with the challenges which have plagued the ticketing system under the Road Traffic Act, Golding said the current electronic-based system was steadily being upgraded.

He said an inter-ministerial group was looking at enhancing that system. According to Golding, preparatory steps have been taken for the ability of that system to accommodate tickets for other types of offences such as the ticketable offences for ganja infractions.