Cops charge Government to get serious on crime
With Cabinet slated to review the stalled wage negotiations with the police today, the cops are increasing their demands for an improved offer.
Having already staged two unofficial sick-outs, rank-and-file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force say they are holding out for an improved offer coming out of today's Cabinet meeting so that the negotiations can continue in earnest.
Last Saturday, the police used the thanksgiving service for the life of retired Detective Sergeant Trevor Williams, 60, whose body was found in a car in Bowden Hill, St Andrew, last month, to underscore their demands. He had been shot dead.
Corporal Rohan James, executive member of the Jamaica Police Federation, charged that members of the force are facing several hurdles that hamper crime fighting in Jamaica.
Addressing mourners at the Naggo Head Church of God of Prophecy in Portmore,
St Catherine, James pointed to the constant conflicts between members of the force and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), and what he described as the Government's failure to put Jamaica first, as some of the contributors to the out-of-control crime rate.
"This is a man that has served Jamaica for over three and half decades. We have been wrestling with crime and criminal elements for far too long and our legislators have a duty to us as citizens of Jamaica. We don't have to lose 'Willie' (as Williams was affectionately called) or any other life before our legislators come to the realisation that we have an issue on our hand that must be addressed," declared James to rousing cheers from the audience.
"First and foremost, some changes have to be made to the INDECOM Act, which will put in place regulations so that the ambiguities and the misconceptions between the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the INDECOM body can be resolved," added James.
Turning to the wage negotiations, James said: "They must also stop distracting law-enforcement agents with the issue of a salary negotiation. Treat with it once and for all so that the commissioner of police can have the undivided attention of the force to pursue the criminal elements."
He also called for law-abiding Jamaicans to become more active in the fight against crime.