With an increase of identity theft in the country, Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of the Kingston and St Andrew Central division, Fitz Bailey, has made an appeal to persons to be on the alert when signing documents.
Bailey, who was addressing the annual meeting of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica (LMAJ) on Saturday, pointed out that criminals who dealt in identity theft were a growing concern.
"The magnitude has been increasing, and in a world where identity theft is on the rise, we have to ensure that we know what we are signing and the persons who present the document for signature," said Bailey.
"The fact of the matter is that even if the guy steals the money, he wants to bank it somewhere, and so sometimes what they do is go to a JP (justice of the peace) or anyone who can give recommendations, and we end up signing documents that do not really represent the persons standing before us," he said.
"I, therefore, urge persons to ensure that you know a minister of religion or a justice of the peace because people often complain that they can't get recommendations, but the fact of the matter is that you can't recommend who you don't know."
Outgoing President of the LMAJ, Errol Greene, agreed, saying JPs had to be careful.
"We have to be very careful as justices of the peace. I have had to turn away many friends and even lose some friends because they come to me showing me a picture of their nephew or their friends, but the truth is I don't know them. Many of these incidents that have been happening are as a result of false identity which was authorised by us (JPs), so I urge to be on the look out," said Green.