Mon | Dec 18, 2017

All Jamaicans urged to get IDs

Published:Tuesday | September 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right), greets a young resident of Mount Salem in St James during a tour of the zone of special operations in that community on Sunday. Looking on are Attorney-General and member of parliament for West Central St James where the community is located, Marlene Malahoo-Forte.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is encouraging all residents of Mount Salem, St James, and, by extension, every citizen of Jamaica, to get some form of identification.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, Western Region in Montego Bay, on September 3, Holness said that it was extremely important that persons take the matter of having proper identification seriously, noting that this would ensure hassle-free passage and verification of status, particularly in zones of special operations.

The press conference followed the declaration of Mount Salem in St James as the first zone of special operations by the prime minister on September 1. This will last for 60 days.

This was done under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) law, which was passed in Parliament in July.

It serves as an important piece of legislation that seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives.

"Citizens of Mount Salem have suggested to us that a special pass could be created to ease the inconvenience that some of them have experienced when interfacing with the various checkpoints," Holness noted.

"This is something that the National Security Council is examining. At this point, however, we can make no commitment to that, but we are examining how this could work. In the interim, we want to encourage all residents of the zone and, in fact, everyone to get proper identification where they can be processed easily and where nobody has reasons to question their identity," he added.