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Cable dated: August 13, 2005
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON APPLICATION 05-969107
1. On August 22, (embassy official) spoke with Senior Superintendent (name withheld by The Gleaner) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). (SSP) explained that the JCF is currently participating in a training course led by London-based Task International.
The technical training includes segments on hostage rescue, public order, and other policing activities, including sniper training.
Twelve people will receive the sniper training: six teams, each with one sniper and one spotter.
(SSP) added that the JCF was advised by Task International to purchase six sniper rifles, which would be used in the training course.
He said that the weapons will not be used by untrained officers.
(SSP) said he was grateful for (embassy official) call and invited embassy personnel to observe the training if desired.
2. (SBU) One August 31, (embassy official) spoke with (name withheld by The Gleaner), Political Affairs Officer at the British High Commission in Kingston.
(British official) said that the High Commission was aware of but was not funding the police training by UK contractor Task International.
He said that the JCF originally sought
to import sniper rifles from the UK, but London refused the request based on consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.
Specifically, their concerns included what they deemed to be the JCF's insufficient accountability measures, weapons handling procedures, maintenance schedules, and poor human rights record. In addition, London reported that the JCF had not yet decided where the weapons would be stored, and that the exported weapons "might be diverted to an undesirable end user".
3. (SBU) Post recommends deferring the approval of this export application until the JCF's anti-kidnap unit is operational. To date, the unit has been formed but is in its very early stages. Post also recommends that approval be deferred until the JCF can establish definitively where the weapons will be stored and whether any accountability measures have been implemented in preparation for the arrival of these weapons.