Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Lawless force - INDECOM says JCF failed to take action against 138 senior officers reported for breaches

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Terrence Williams, commissioner of INDECOM.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is reporting that no action has been taken against 138 senior officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), despite reports being submitted to its leadership and the Police Service Commission (PSC) for disciplinary proceedings to be instituted against them for periods spanning seven years.

In its April to June quarterly report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, INDECOM said that since its inception in 2010, the commission has submitted 97 cases involving 138 officers of the police force.

"Attempts were made by the commission to ascertain the status of these cases wherein recommendations were made. To date, disciplinary hearings have not commenced in any of these cases. Indeed, in a number of the cases, there has been no response to the recommendation," the report states.

In one case, an assistant commissioner of the former Island Special Constabulary Force was reported for alleged assault. INDECOM stated that the complainant reported that on October 22, 2011, he was chased by another motorist who pulled a firearm on him. The other motorist was later identified as a police officer. According to INDECOM, it dispatched a report to both the JCF and the PSC on March 3, 2017, for breaches of the use-of-force policy. To date, neither the JCF nor PSC has responded to INDECOM on the matter.

 

BREACH OF FORCE POLICY

 

In another incident, two deputy superintendents of police were reported by INDECOM for breaches of sections of the JCF Code of Conduct and of the use-of-force policy in September 2015. The oversight body stated that one senior officer fired his weapon, left the scene after firing, and failed to make a prompt report.

The other senior officer, after learning of his colleague's involvement, irregularly dealt with the exhibits taken from the scene and failed to report the incident to INDECOM. The police oversight body said the director of public prosecutions concurred that disciplinary issues arose. However, INDECOM said it has not received a response from the JCF or the PSC.

INDECOM said it reported a deputy superintendent of police for breaching the JCF code of conduct, but to date, it has not received a response from the JCF or PSC. A complainant alleged that he was assaulted by a courtesy corps officer, which was reported to the police. INDECOM said the case was not put before the court as required.

The oversight body also reported that 13 senior officers from the rank of assistant superintendent of police to senior superintendent of police all breached the force's policies while leading planned operations. They were reported by INDECOM to the PSC and JCF in April and May of 2016, but to date they have received no response.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com