Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, is advising motor-vehicle passengers to cooperate with the police if questioned during routine stop-and-search operations.
Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Superintendent Lindsay explained that as a part of the new security strategy, passengers may be questioned, and they will be expected to respond.
“If the police ask questions of the passenger, the driver should not answer. We don’t want the driver or anyone else to answer on behalf of the passenger. If you are in a difficult situation and the driver or another passenger in the vehicle is the abductor and they are answering on your behalf, then you might not get any help at all,” she explained.
“So, if you are a passenger in a situation like that and you are stopped, it’s very important that you state immediately that you are in trouble, so that the police can act accordingly and appropriately to support you. This is for your own safety,” she continued.
Superintendent Lindsay also outlined the procedures for motorists to follow when stopped by the police.
“You are expected to switch off your engine, wind down all windows, produce your driver’s licence and the documents for the vehicle, as requested by the police, and answer questions that the police may ask of you,” she said.
She explained that the police will want to know if the diver is carrying weapons. She said the police should try to ascertain this information in a discreet way when there are passengers in the vehicle, particularly if it is a public passenger vehicle.
This, she said, is in order to protect the driver, who may be a licensed firearm holder.
The CCU Head warned that if licensed firearm holders who are pulled over do not declare possession of the weapon, and it is found in a search of the vehicle or on the person, the individual could be cited for failing to declare a weapon to the police.
Article by: Peta-gay Hodges
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm