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Montague to meet with disgruntled police federation over changes to JCF Act

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2017 | 6:31 PM
National Security Minister Robert Montague

National Security Minister Robert Montague is to meet with the Jamaica Police Federation Thursday to discuss concerns about changes to the Constabulary Force Act.

Under the amended Act, sub-officers and constables are now required to give six months' notice of their intention to resign or face a possible fine of $250,000 or three months in prison.

Under section 70 of the Act, federated members also cannot meet as a group without the consent of the Police Commissioner.

The Jamaica Police Federation has opposed the changes and has indicated it will be mounting a legal challenge.

In a release this Wednesday, the national security ministry said it recognises that the consultation process in relation to the changes could have been more extensive.

But it notes that even before enactment of the Special Zones Law, the Constabulary Force Act made provisions for the six-month notice period.

The Ministry said from as far back as 2010, a decision was made to modernise the Jamaica Constabulary Force and its legislative framework, based on the recommendations of the 2008 JCF Strategic Review.

It said this resulted in a series of consultations with key stakeholders.

The ministry says discussions relating to amendments to Section 5 of the Constabulary Force Act were held with the JCF, the then Island Special Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Police Federation and the Police Officers' Association.

Additionally, the ministry says since the start of 2017, a new working group has been established to re-energise the legislative review process.

It says this working group involves the JCF and the Jamaica Police Federation.