Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Commish urged to bridge gap between public and police

Published:Wednesday | April 19, 2017 | 4:00 AMJason Cross
New Police Commissioner George Quallo.

New police Commissioner George Quallo is being charged by one Jamaican to find ways to eradicate the division between the public and the police, in order to better facilitate information sharing.

"The trust within the police force break down. You can't trust a man fi tell [him] anything because tomorrow man a come kick off your door. You lock up one man, and him friend out deh a come back fi you," Al Williams, member of the public, told The Gleaner in downtown Kingston yesterday.

However, University of the West Indies psychology lecturer, Dr Christopher Charles, has rebutted the argument, stressing that the police were not short on information, but that members of the public chose not to show up to court to give testimony.

Describing the wide perception that people don't provide information because of fear as a myth, Charles said, "People give the police information all the time. The anti-informer culture is really a myth, because if you talk to the police, they get information all the time. The police are not short on information. What they can't get is people to come and testify."

He stressed, "What generally is the problem is that most Jamaicans don't want to enter the criminal justice system. Cases take long and you have to show up to court for how many years."

 

CORRUPTION IN THE FORCE

 

Williams also wanted to appeal to the commissioner to deal with the issue of corruption within the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

"You affi scrutinise them (police) because nuff a dem inside deh really corrupt; the collecting of money and information leak, and so on. Politics have a way fi play out in Jamaican society when it comes on to crime. Just do the job. The man weh a suppress crime in an area, them move (transfer) them. For example, [Steve] McGregor was doing a fine job in MoBay and they moved him; a politics that," he said.

Quallo, who took office yesterday morning, was greeted by a number of his colleagues, after which he conducted a series of meetings with senior members of the force.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com