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Jamaica: Warning no longer required before arrest under DRMA, say police

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is advising members of the public that, as a result of recent amendments to the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA), the police are no longer required to give warning notices before effecting an arrest for breaches under the DRMA.

It means those in violation of rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica can now “be arrested and charged immediately”, advised the JCF’s Corporate Communications Unit in a news release Wednesday.

Previously, an act in apparent contravention of Jamaica’s coronavirus rules did not automatically constitute an offence or a breach of the DRMA because the offending party had to be first issued a warning by an authorised officer, and a subsequent failure to comply would lead to an arrest.

The perceived inconsistency in the prosecution of ‘violators’, particularly when it involved those from from the upper class, had led to accusation of prejudice against the police.

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