Mon | Nov 23, 2020

'Informer fi dead' culture must go, says Commish

Published:Thursday | August 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Commissioner of Police George Quallo (left) making a point to Michael Buckle, president of the Rotary Club Of Kingston at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Thursday.

Commissioner of Police George Quallo is calling for the 'informer fi dead' culture, which permeates Jamaica, to be eradicated. Using a recent experience, he highlighted the importance of citizens stepping forward with information about crimes they have witnessed.

Quallo was speaking at a gathering of members from the Rotary Club of Kingston, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel earlier this week.

"Far too long, this notion of informer fi dead remains alive. Recently, a man lost his life in a rural parish. We had information that this man was the witness to a murder, and all we tried, he would not say anything. He was able to say to the police that 'I know who killed this man, but I am not prepared to give any account as to what happened'. He wouldn't speak to investigators to give them information that he had," he shared.

"We used all sorts of methods in trying to get him to understand that he has a responsibility, not just to the victim, but to the victim's family and Jamaica, Land We Love, to speak about what is happening."

Quallo continued, "Sad to say, a couple of weeks later, he was killed. The information that was made available to us is that he was killed by persons who committed the first murder. The information available to us is that they were afraid that at some point in time, he was going to change his mind and was going to speak.

"I leave you to draw your own conclusions, but we cannot continue in a society where we know what is happening, but in the same breath, we say nothing. I ask that you use your voices to strengthen the work of the security forces. No longer can anyone sit idly by and say we are not giving information," bemoaned Quallo.

... I have not lost hope - Quallo

Addressing the recent tragedy of the murder of 17-year-old Meadowbrook High School student Mickolle Moulton in Arnett Gardens, south St Andrew, Commissioner of Police George Quallo stated: "We are killing off our people, our women and our children. It must cause all of us to have this little heat down here (in the gut) and we must come up and do something about it. You listen to the school teachers and you listen to the community members. It tells you that this is someone that had great potential."

In expressing optimism in Jamaica, he said, "I am more than saddened by the whole thing, but I have not lost hope. I am saying: What if all of us in this country would say this is wrong, and literally do something about it?"

Speaking of the ensuing demonstration by the residents, Quallo told members of the Rotary Club of Kingston at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel earlier this week that "they were so vocal: many times we have seen demonstrations, but (this time) we are seeing women, children and men, not hiding, but saying that this is wrong".

- Harriet Middleton Frith also contributed to this article.