Jamaican police disputes claims it seized vehicle of woman taking sick child to hospital

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has responded to a statement made on social media about the treatment meted out to a motorist by police officers.

A social media user had indicated that the police had done a disservice to the motorist who was in process of transporting a sick child to hospital but was held up by police who insisted on checking papers and seizing the vehicle, thus preventing her from taking the child to the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

The viral video drew the ire of a number of persons who lambasted the police for being uncaring.

But the police are disputing the claims made in the video. In a statement on its website, the JCF said the Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau had been instructed to investigate the matter, and their findings are contrary to the information being shared on social media.

Investigations reveal that there was no sick child in the car and the vehicle was seized because its documents were of date.
“Reports are that on Friday, July 2 about 5:30 p.m. a team of Police from the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) was conducting traffic enforcement activities along Mountain View Avenue, in the vicinity of Arthur Wint drive, when a Toyota Corolla motor car, driven by a woman and accompanied by a teenager, was signalled to stop” the statement read.

It went on to say that the driver complied and the police requested her motor vehicle documents that showed that the certificate of fitness had expired August  21, 2020, the registration expired on May 31, 2021 and that the insurance on the vehicle expired. 

The statement further stated that after pointing out the breaches of the Road Traffic Act, the driver was informed that she will be ticketed and the motor car will be seized. 

The statement then stated that the driver then indicated that there was a sick child in the vehicle being transported to the hospital.

“She then proceeded to tell the police that she has an emergency and is transporting her sick child to the Bustamante Hospital. A check of the car revealed that there was no sick child in the car and that the child was already at the hospital. The Police proceeded to solicit the assistance of a taxi to take her to the hospital, at no charge to her, which she refused. A further attempt was made to assist her in another police service vehicle and she also refused and insisted that the officers on location take her to the hospital,” the statement continued.

It said the IPROB has completed its preliminary enquiry into the incident and has found that the police exercised due care and complied with the policies and procedures of the JCF, as well as the laws of Jamaica.