Wed | Oct 23, 2019

National Security Council emphasises urgency for new Bail Act

Published:Friday | August 30, 2019 | 5:07 PM
National Security Council chair, Prime Minister Andrew Holness - File photo.

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is reporting that the National Security Council has emphasised the urgency for the new Bail Act to be finalised as another tool to improve safety and security in the country.

A statement this afternoon, the OPM said the issue was a significant topic of discussion during the regular monthly meeting of the council, chaired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, on Thursday.

OPM says the legislation will be brought before Cabinet this legislative year.

It explains that the act will clarify and provide guidance on the grounds to keep persons in custody without being charged for major criminal offences.

Additionally, it will also detail the time frame for which someone can be detained between being suspected of committing an offence and formally charged.

According to OPM, Holness acknowledged the constitutional limitations in which the new Bail Act and crime-fighting measures have to be examined and in this regard, the council also took note of the approaches being taken by other countries such as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom.

In the meantime, OPM says the Holness also received operational updates from the Chief of Defence Staff-Jamaica Defence Force, the Commissioner of Police, and Director General of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency.

An update was also received from the Office of the National Security Advisor regarding the intensified implementation of ‘Plan Secure Jamaica.’ 

Additionally, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency along with Montego Bay Jamaica Airports Limited presented a proposed plan for a ‘Seamless Passenger Journey’ which includes a new border management system.

The plans also included streamlining operations at the nation’s airports and integrating advanced technologies.

OPM says the prime minister used the opportunity to charge the police commissioner to ensure that the necessary procedures are in place for a smooth start to the new academic year, which begins next Monday.

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