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Custodes, JPs to play critical role in special zones

Published:Saturday | July 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, says custodes and Justices of the Peace (JPs) will have a critical role to play in ensuring the protection of citizens’ rights after an area has been designated a special crime zone.

The Senate yesterday passed the Zones of Special Operation bill that will give the prime minister, in consultation with the National Security Council, the authority to declare an area a zone of special operations to tackle increased violence.

Addressing the opening of the first Justice Centre in the island, in the parish of St Ann, Chuck said JPs should be present when members of the security forces are conducting searches in designated special zones.

He says when a person is to be detained, the police will have to convince the JP that this individual is suspected of committing a crime.

Chuck says if the JP disagrees, the man must be released.

In cases where the JP agrees with the police, they should ensure that the person is placed before the court within 24 hours.