(Jamaica Observer) Security Minister Peter Bunting last night announced that cops can no longer arrest people for possession of a small amount of ganja but must, instead, serve them with summonses.
The announcement came just minutes after the constabulary announced that six cops had been suspended and interdicted for their role in the beating death of 31-yearold Mario Deane.
Bunting, in a release to the media, said he was in receipt of a memorandum from the Attorney General’s Chambers, and after discussions with Acting Police Commissioner Glenmore Hinds, it was determined that the constabulary will apply the following guidelines to people charged with minor offences, such as possession of small quantities of ganja:
• Proceed by way of summons where a justice of the peace (JP) is available;
• If a JP is not available, or if the offender is unable to provide identification, or is unable to be identified by other means, he/she may be taken to a police station until identification can be verified. Once identification is verified, the person should be granted bail on his/her own recognisance; an
• If the offender is being investigated for other serious offences, persons will be given bail with conditions, or be remanded in custody.
Bunting said the Government was committed to making the necessary policy and legislative changes to avoid the recurrence of such a tragedy.