JDF boss wants amendments to ZOSO legislation

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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CHIEF of Defence Staff Major General Rocky Meade says Parliament could consider amendments to the law governing the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) when it and other related pieces of legislation come up for review.

He told the Internal and External Affairs Committee of Parliament yesterday that some aspects of the law could be improved. General Meade along with Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson and support staff, as well as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Diane McIntosh appeared before the committee to answer questions about the impact of the state of emergency (SOE) now in effect in several areas across the island. The Opposition has been clamouring for answers about a timeline for the SOE and whether there is supporting hard data to quantify its effect.

“I understand that we may have gotten quite constrained in the legislation initially because we did not know exactly what we would do with the powers. I think you have seen that jointly the two forces have acted maybe beyond your expectations in how we have handled the extraordinary powers that we have gotten, but there are some aspects of the legislation that are not as efficient as they ought to be. That is one of the challenges that when the time is appropriate, that we may seek to address,” General Meade stated.

He said the adjustments which could be made to the ZOSO Bill would make the operations of the security forces more effective.

ZOSOs are now in effect in Mount Salem in St James, and Denham Town in West Kingston. Parliament last week approved a 90-day extension of the Denham Town ZOSO up to January 2. The current operation expires on October 2.

— Alphea Saunders

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