Your Rights & Responsibilities

One on One with the Police


Your Rights & Responsibilities

Your Rights

Here are some of your basic rights.

  • All citizens are equal under the law.
  • You must be told why you are being stopped, searched or what you are being charged with.
  • You must be cautioned when arrested or charged.
  • If you are arrested you have the right to legal representation and to have your lawyer present during questioning.
  • If you are arrested you are entitled to at least one telephone call.
  • A copy of a search warrant must be served on the occupier of a premises before the search commences, except under the exempt clause.
  • Someone must be present when a search of your premises is being conducted.
  • This individual may be the owner of the premises, a neighbor, relative or friend who is an adult.
  • When you give a statement to the police it must be read over by you or to you and be signed or your mark (X) which must be witnessed.

You Can Expect Us to:

  • Uphold the laws of Jamaica firmly and fairly in accordance with our work;
  • Be professional, impartial, fair, honest and reasonable in our dealings with you;
  • Provide you with sound advice and timely information on which you can rely;
  • Be accountable for our work and answerable for the outcomes within our control;
  • Strive to satisfy citizens in a way that will exceed their expectations;
  • Be analytical in problem solving and spare no effort in trying to solve problems; and
  • Be prudent in all our dealings with a high level of transparency in our relationships with the public.

The Constabulary aims to uphold and protect the human rights of all the people in Jamaica by providing a high quality, effective policing service in partnership with the community and in co-operation with other agencies.

In carrying out our duties, members of the Constabulary shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force.

We will only resort to the use of force if other means remain ineffective and there is no realistic promise of achieving the lawful objective without exposing police officers, or anyone whom it is their duty to protect, to a real risk of harm or injury.

What You Should Do if Stopped by the Police

Your Responsibilities:

  • Slow down. Pull over as soon as you can safely do so. If the vehicle is unmarked and you doubt that it is a police vehicle, drive below the speed limit to a well lit, populated place and pull over, or go to the nearest police station or attract the attention of a uniformed officer.
  • Unwind window if it is tinted and stay in the driver's seat with both hands clearly in sight on the steering wheel. Do not exit the vehicle unless asked to do so.
  • Comply with the officer's request to see your driver's licence, registration and proof of insurance. If they are in the glove compartment or under the seat, let the officer know and then follow his or her directions before retrieving them.
  • Comply with all instructions given by the police officer even if you think they are wrong. Seek redress later.

Your Rights:

  • You should be treated with dignity and respect. Under no circumstances may the Police ask you to pay a fine for a traffic violation at the time it occurs or negotiate any other terms. Asking for such a payment, as well as making one is illegal.
  • You have the right to have any inappropriate situation addressed. If you believe that an officer has acted inappropriately during a traffic stop or any other encounter, you should report that Officers' conduct as soon as possible to the Office of the Inspectorate of Constabulary, 1st Floor, 12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston Mall. Tel: 876-922-9234, 876-967-4600, Fax: 876-922-0288 Try to have as much information as possible about the Officer (s), including his name, badge number, and the division to which the vehicle is assigned and the number on the sides of his or her service vehicle. The exact date, time and location of occurrence are very important.

What the Police Expect from You

It is only by working together that we can have a safer and more agreeable community in which to live and work.

We need you to:

  • Respect and abide by the laws;
  • Come forward if you witnessed or know of a crime committed against anyone;
  • Report suspicious circumstances to us;
  • Refrain from corrupting your police – for example, through offering bribes;
  • Promptly report acts of corruption and unprofessional behaviour;
  • Refrain from harbouring persons involved in illegal and criminal acts;
  • Stay out of crime scenes and obey the police; do not cross crime scene tapes or pick up spent shells or other potential exhibits;
  • Be civil in your interactions with us;
  • Perform civic duties such as jury service;
  • Partner with us to build and sustain safer communities;
  • Be honest and reasonable when dealing with us.