To contribute towards creating a safe and secure Jamaica by the effective enforcement of law, order and maintenance of secure borders.
The Ministry of National Security (MNS) was established as a single Ministry in 2001 following the separation of the Ministry of National Security and Justice to form two separate Ministries. The current MNS mandate is to:
Facilitate the maintenance of law and order;
Protect Jamaica against internal and external threats;
Ensure the safety of Jamaica’s borders and;
Punish and rehabilitate offenders
MNS is directly responsible for two Departments: the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). Each has its own mandate and delegated responsibilities for management of all operational matters. In addition, the Ministry acts as the ministerial ‘home’ for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). The JDF is directly accountable to the Minister of Defence who is also the Prime Minister. There is currently no formal Ministry of Defence and all defence matters are dealt with by a Defence Board which includes the Minister of National Security and the Permanent Secretary. Currently, the MNS manages the JDF budget and undertakes some routine administrative functions on its behalf.
The Ministry is also responsible for five statutory bodies, the Private Security Regulations Authority (PSRA) which is responsible for the registration of private security companies and security guards; the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) for the registration and issuance of gun licences; the Correctional Services Production Company (COSPROD) for rehabilitation of inmates and also the provision of food to help to meet dietary requirements of clients within correctional facilities, the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC) which is charged with providing anti-narcotic law enforcement training within the Caribbean and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA) for ensuring accountability, adherence to policy guidelines and observance of proper policing standards by the Force. The MNS also has responsibility for an Executive Agency: the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA). Plans are in place for a new agency to be added to the Ministry’s portfolio; the Ports Security Agency (PSA).
A Strategic Evaluation Centre (SEC) was established in 2004, which serves as the central point within Jamaica for coordinating and analysing intelligence and providing strategic intelligence assessments to the MNS to inform policy decisions. The SEC will become a civilian intelligence agency and given this intention it has not been included in the Modernisation Plan of the future MNS organisation.