Wed | Feb 21, 2018

NIA partners with justice institute to train cops

Published:Monday | January 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/Staff Reporter
Gavin Tench (left), political counsellor and head of the Press and Public Information Team at the European Union, discusses the new sentencing guideline for gun crimes committed in Jamaica with Professor Trevor Munroe (centre), executive director of the National Integrity Action and Superintendent Wayne Joseph of the Criminal Investigation Branch. The group participated in a NIA training conference for the police at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in New Kingston.

More than 50 police were trained in improving investigative and prosecutorial outcomes over the weekend, as part of efforts to increase the country's conviction rate and secure justice for scores of Jamaicans.

The two-day training seminar was funded by the European Union Delegation and was hosted by National Integrity Action (NIA), in collaboration with the Justice Training Institute, at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston. The police were taught how to optimise registry operations, among other things.

Superintendent Wayne Joseph of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) was among those who felt the training seminar was very timely given the challenges in curbing crime.

"We are experiencing a serious crime problem in Jamaica," he said.

"I don't know if it could ever be worse. Last year, we saw record murders, and this year we are having a very serious challenge where that is concerned also. Therefore, this training seminar could never be at a more appropriate time," he said.

The cop was pleased that efforts were being made to improve registry operations, and is confident that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and Jamaicans, by extension, stand to benefit.

"The registry is like a motor vehicle, and if you understand how the motor vehicle operates, if you do not service the engine, it breaks down on you on the road," he said.

"If the statements are not properly vetted and the case files are not properly put together, then everything fails," he said.

Executive director of NIA, Professor Trevor Munroe, said the organisation was pleased to facilitate closer collaborations between the country's prosecutors and the police who are engaged in statement taking.

"Enhanced collaboration of this nature, while paying due regard to the separate roles of these different arms of the justice system, can only redound to Jamaica's benefit," he said.

Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, noted that improving the capacity building of members of the JCF would help to address corruption.

"We seek to improve access to justice and the quality of justice for all Jamaicans," she said in a statement that was delivered by Gavin Tench, who is a political counsellor and head of the Press and Public Information team for the EU Delegation.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com