Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests:
The National Intelligence Bureau of the Jamaica Constabulary Force is the authority with responsibility to maintain international links with overseas law enforcement counterparts to trace the origin of all weapons entering the island, legally or illegally. The FLA also maintains a list of all persons possessing private firearms, inclusive of serial numbers. The various police divisions also have the names and serial numbers of residents within these communities, who are licensed firearm holders.
The Ministry of National Security has overall monitor and oversight responsibility to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations, as well as monitoring the activities of the FLA in the issuance of licenses. The Ministry is also the main policy direction authority on all issues related to SALW.
For the period January 2000 to August 2004, some 900 trace requests were processed by the US Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco (ATF) for firearms recovered in Jamaica, with the highest number of 310 being traced to the state of Florida in the United States as a point of origin. A bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the ATF in early 2005 in order to facilitate the accurate tracing of arms and ammunition smuggled into Jamaica from the United States. The MOU also ensures closer cooperation between law enforcement agencies on the cross-border transfer of arms and ammunition.
Operational Informaton Exchange:
Jamaica has assisted its regional neighbours indirectly through CARICOM, by way of an exchange of best practices, information and intelligence on security issues, including the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition across and through the Caribbean Region. This endeavour has resulted in closer relationships between law enforcement personnel, both at the regional and international levels, resulting in faster and more reliable exchange of intelligence on traffickers (both arms and drug traffickers and other criminals) between countries.
CARICOM recognizes the challenges and threats that the traffic in arms and drugs pose by to security and has now elevated attention to concerns for security, crime prevention and law enforcement to same level as economic development.
Needs and Request for Assistance::
Financial constraints are always an issue and Jamaica could benefit from assistance to strengthen security at borders and to implement fully necessary programmes
Implementation challenges and opportunities:
A major challenge lies in the fact that the International Tracing Instrument is not legally binding and that police and intelligence authorities are under no obligation to disclose full information on purchasers of weapons which are found to be illegally imported onto the island.