CHIEF Justice Bryan Sykes has said that Andre "Blackman" Bryan — the man he on Monday declared was leader of the St Catherine-based Klansman gang — from the evidence in the case, was a "micromanager" who meticulously designed and sequenced how he wanted crimes to be carried out by his minions "from Genesis to Revelations".

Investigators have launched a search for a bank employee who allegedly made off with more than $35 million from a St. Ann-based financial institution.
Friday, 24 February 2023 13:19

Alleged SSL fraudster Jean-Ann Panton denied bail

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Jean-Ann Panton, the former wealth advisor at Stocks & Securities Limited (SSL), was today remanded in custody when she appeared in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston to answer charges concerning the alleged multimillion-dollar fraud at the investment firm.

Killers have again been put on notice that they will be put away for a long time when caught and convicted.

The Joint Anti Gang Task Force conducted an operation in Lennox Big Woods in Westmoreland where two firearms were seized, including a high-powered rifle.

Thursday, 23 February 2023 12:18

Female among three held for lotto scamming in Hanover

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Investigators assigned to the Lottery Scam Task Force in Montego Bay, St James arrested and charged three people including a woman with possession of identity information and possession of an access device following an operation on Wharf Road, Orange Bay, Hanover in two separate incidents on Tuesday, February 21.

It seems like history is repeating itself with the recent introduction of the child seat law in Jamaica. I recall similar arguments being made in the UK after the government's implementation of a similar law caused confusion and frustration among the public. Back in 2006, the discussions centred around the difficulties in determining the exact height and weight requirements for different car seats. Many families who were used to simply strapping their children into the car now had to measure their heights and weights to comply with the law. The outcry in Jamaica to the decision to enforce a law that was on the books since 2016 seems mildly familiar to me. 


For the purpose of context, I share the key points in the relevant UK law in order to situate the discussion.. A summary of the UK law reads like this: 


  •  A *suitable* child car seat must be used until the child reaches a height of 135cms or 12 years old, whichever is reached first.
  • There are some special rules for children under 3 years:
    • A child under 3 years may never travel in the front seat of a car without the correct restraint - child seat
    • They are allowed to travel in Taxi, minicab, minibus, coach or van without a suitable seat
    • On an unexpected journey – an emergency
    • There is no room for another car seat  


*Suitable means a seat that is intended for the child’s height, weight and the vehicle it is to be used in. ( 


As you can see from the list,, there are exceptions. The law further outlines the scenarios where a child is reasonably allowed to be transported without a child seat when older than 3 years old. These scenarios are shared below: 


  • A child can travel via taxi or minicab without a car seat if the driver doesn't provide one. They must wear a seat belt.
  • Similar for coaches and minibuses. They must travel in the rear seats and use seat belts.
  • If you were making a short-distance, unexpected journey, it is legally acceptable to restrain your child with just a seat belt instead of a child car seat so long as your child is 3 years and older.


I must confess that I have not read the entirety of the new(ish) Jamaican law. I have not delved into its finer details to see if these exceptions are already included. I am more driven to comment due to the furore on social media and the immediate response by Opposition figures to treat such an important issue as a political football. If there are exceptions within the Jamaican Law as codified in the UK law, then the government needs to communicate these effectively and loudly to overwhelm the naysayers. However, if there are no exceptions, the government needs to respond to genuine queries and explain why a G7 economy would do so but Jamaica wouldn’t. There might be valid reasons, specifically alluding to our unforgivable annual fatalities. 


Jamaica has an alarmingly high road traffic death rate compared to other countries, with nearly 450 deaths recorded last year alone. In comparison, the UK, which has a population 20 times larger, recorded 1760 road traffic deaths. This means that, proportionate to population, one is 4 times more likely to die in a road traffic accident in Jamaica than in the UK. These figures do not even take into account the number of life-altering injuries resulting from road accidents. Child safety is of particular concern in such a dangerous environment, and the use of child seats is a proven way to reduce the risk of injury or death to children in the event of a crash. I firmly believe that laws mandating the use of child seats are a crucial step in ensuring the safety of children on the roads. An effective implementation of this law in Jamaica could potentially save numerous lives and decrease the number of road traffic injuries for children.


It is important to recognize the role that child seats play in protecting children in the event of a crash. According to studies (CDC, 2016: Durbin & Hoffman, 2018; Murphy, 1998), properly secured children are much less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than children who are not properly secured. In fact, child seats have been shown to reduce the risk of fatal injury by up to 71% for infants and up to 54% for toddlers. In the USA, 607 child passengers ages 12 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and more than 63,000 were injured. Of the children who were killed in a crash, 38% were not buckled up. The use of child seats is a small inconvenience that can have a huge impact on the safety and well-being of children. If we are to be a compassionate and law-abiding society, we must take serious steps to protect our children, even if it means making some sacrifices. 


The botched implementation of the child seat law in Jamaica has been met with resistance from some quarters, particularly among Jamaicans living abroad who seem to comply with similar laws in their host countries but are resistant to the same laws being enforced in their home country. This is evident from the backlash seen on social media platforms where many have criticised the government for being insensitive to the financial struggles of the less privileged. However, it is important to understand that accepting a culture where laws are disregarded and seen as unjust, can have serious implications for Jamaica as a tourist destination. Such a narrative reinforces the idea that Jamaica is a lawless country and can undermine the efforts of the government to create a safer environment for its citizens. No wonder many tourists prefer to tour the island in JUTA buses rather than rent a car and explore the island themselves! Imagine the many stops along the way and the boost to local businesses! Dr Paul Ivey refers to this attitude as a "culture of lawlessness." So, while I appreciate the concerns of those who are opposed to this law, it is imperative that we support measures aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens, especially our children.


However, there is a harsh reality that cannot be dismissed in the Jamaican context. While the focus is on the taxi driver, many families would gladly agree with the thrust of the law but simply cannot afford it. Therefore the government needs to listen and provide solutions to ensure that the law can have the effect it promises. For if the goal is to increase child safety, then there must be a comprehensive strategy to get the correct equipment in the correct hands. My research has found that when the government provides a helping hand, the law has a greater chance of changing behaviours. So I am sharing a few possible ideas with the government that might help a few more parents and PPV car drivers:


  1. Subsidies or discounts for low-income families or taxi operators to purchase child seats.
  2. Rental programs for families or taxi operators to use them on a temporary basis.
  3. Community initiatives to collect and distribute used child seats to families in need.
  4. Corporate partnerships with the government or non-profit organisations to provide subsidies or discounts for low-income families or taxi operators to purchase child seats.
  5. Tax incentives to encourage individuals, businesses, or organisations to donate funds or child seats to families in need or to support rental programs.


In conclusion, I would like to recommend that the government take steps to better communicate its policies and ensure that all stakeholders are on board before implementation. We have seen the fiasco of the NIDS implementation (a step forward) and now this! This will go a long way in reducing confusion and frustration and increasing support for the law. At the end of the day, protecting the lives and well-being of our children should be our top priority, and the child seat law is a positive step in the right direction.


CDC, 2020. Child Passenger Safety: Get the Facts


Durbin DR, Hoffman BD; COUNCIL ON INJURY, VIOLENCE, AND POISON PREVENTION. Child Passenger Safety. Pediatrics. 2018 Nov;142(5):e20182460. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2460. Epub 2018 Aug 30. PMID: 30166368.


Murphy JM. Child passenger safety. J Pediatr Health Care. 1998 May-Jun;12(3):130-8. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5245(98)90243-7. PMID: 9652281.


Dr. Megel Barker is the current head of middle school at TASiS England. He has a wealth of experience in education, having worked in the field for 28 years. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 16:17

Christie: "I have done nothing wrong"

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Integrity Commission (IC) Executive Director Greg Christie has strongly rejected calls for his resignation, declaring that he has been unbiased in his duties over the last three years at the anti-corruption agency.

THE Government is betting on traffic fines to help it finance up to $635 million in spending across the ministries of justice and national security during the upcoming fiscal year.

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 15:59

Suspected cop killer cut down by police

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The main suspect in last week’s killing of a policeman in York District in Seaforth, St Thomas was shot dead in a confrontation with lawmen Monday evening.

Stricter bail conditions were imposed Tuesday on former Sagicor senior executive Alysia Moulton White along with her three co-accused in a multimillion-dollar fraud case involving the financial institution.