Customs officers in Jamaica to wear body cameras

Kingston – The Jamaica Customs Agency says that over 100 customs officers will be required to wear body cameras when dealing with the public.

According to the agency, this first of a kind initiative is expected to provide a more accurate record of encounters with customers, foster improved relations, increase transparency, and improve the quality of evidence collected for decision-making.

Customs CEO/Commissioner, Velma Ricketts Walker, who made the disclosure at a recent meeting, highlighted the importance of the initiative to delivering the agency’s core values.

“Jamaica Customs, as a law enforcement agency, fully embraces greater accountability and transparency in our operations, interactions, and engagements with our importing and exporting publics, as well as air passengers,” Ricketts Walker noted.

To this end,” she added, “we see the use of the body worn cameras as a useful tool to further enhance our ability to gather information, review . . . as well as provide evidence for investigation where necessary.”

Walker also reiterated that the inclusion of body worn cameras will help to build trust with the agency’s stakeholders.

She further stated that, to maintain the integrity of the process, an “organised and structured policy has been developed to govern the use of the body worn cameras, with the appropriate legislative support and appreciation for data collection”.

Recently, there has been a call for increased digital recording during interactions between law enforcement officers and the public.

In response, other local law enforcement organisations have already adopted this technology to improve the quality of policing. (CMC)

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