Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Stop tearing down police oversight body - Narcisse

Published:Wednesday | September 2, 2015 | 9:00 AMJovan Johnson
Carol Narcisse

With an embarrassed Police High Command forced to declare that recent criminal acts allegedly involving its members are not typical of the force, civil-society advocate Carol Narcisse said there are now even more reasons for the police union and politicians to stop "tearing down" the chief oversight body set up to hold the police accountable.

In the past three weeks, four cops have been arrested after being caught allegedly committing criminal acts.

Narcisse said the reports reinforce the views of policymakers and police commissioners that there is a high level of criminality in the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

She said that is why it is important for bodies such as the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to get all the support it needs to do its work.

"It is in the face of the evidence of criminality that it makes the pronouncements that come from Sergeant Raymond Wilson criticising INDECOM in a manner that would try to injure, it seems, the confidence that the public has, that they should desist and support the importance of the role of INDECOM in the society," argued the advocate.

 

MORE SCRUTINY FOR RECRUITS

 

Hours after news came on Monday that residents of a Clarendon community held and beat an alleged cop robber, the High Command released a statement saying it is implementing a better mechanism to screen recruits.

But Narcisse believes the High Command should go a step further and "get rid of its ambivalence towards strong police oversight".

She added: "On the one hand, the leadership of the police force and policymakers pronounce on crime and professional policing, and in the next breath, they publicly castigate and seek to reduce the powers of the very entity set up to ensure that professionalism."

Wilson, who heads the Jamaica Police Federation, and government minister Damion Crawford have emerged as the leading figures criticising INDECOM for "profiling" and taking away the rights of the police.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com