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Police act on Public Defender's report on treatment of Kingston vendors

Published:Monday | December 1, 2014 | 9:42 AM

The police High Command is urging members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to observe the law when seizing goods from vendors in Kingston and St Andrew.

The calls follows a report by acting Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu which alleges that the police seize goods and unlawfully hand them over to State entities.

He argues that the law only allows goods to be forfeited after a third conviction of illegal vending.

In its Force Orders, the police High Command says the acting Public Defender has threatened to take legal action.

It says human rights agencies have joined in condemning the police for their treatment of property seized.

The High Command, is pleading with its members that there should be no damaging of property belonging to vendors.

It adds that where goods are seized for court-related purpose, the seizure, transportation, storage and disposal should be done consistent with the law.

The High Command says the law should be strictly observed especially as the Christmas season approaches and amid calls for vendors to be removed from the streets.

Members of the force are also being urged to make every effort to uphold the human rights and human dignity of vendors.

The acting public defender has recommended that, within two months, the Jamaica Constabulary Force must implement clear guidelines on their seizure and disposal of perishable goods.

He has also recommended, among other things, that modern facilities be constructed to store seized goods and that Jamaica's outdated vending laws be updated.


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