Gleaner Crime Forum | No trust for cops?
Allegations of corrupt practices by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in the Westmoreland division were cause for concern for several participants at a Gleaner Crime Forum held in the parish on Thursday.
However, commanding officer Superintendent Lansford Salmon refuted claims that corruption is rife among the men and women under his command and has sworn his commitment to take swift action if his team members step out of line.
"There are some Jamaicans who like to say they don't trust the police, and yes, I must say that there are some police you definitely cannot trust, but the majority of the members are decent officers, and there are routes you can use to pass on the information," Salmon argued. "Even if you don't trust anyone, write with your left hand and put it under a door as criminals are coming into our space here in Westmoreland, committing crimes seen by residents, but residents refuse to speak.
"Other parishes with a low crime rate are supported by residents willing to speak when there is a strange person in the community ... that is what I see more of," he added. "The citizens of this parish are decent people. The few that are causing mayhem, most of them are known to us. We just need the support and people power and to get the evidence to put them away."
The veteran cop, who took command of the parish six months ago, was responding to two members of the panel who shared experiences of negative reactions to information offered or expressions of fear to give information to members of the constabulary. Westmoreland's economic life depends mainly on tourism and sugar production.
One panellist, an educator by profession, spoke of his frustration because of the number of times he said he passed information to senior officers in the division, prior to Salmon taking command, but the information was never acted on.
"I have given information to the police and days after the individual could come to me and tell me that he heard all I had said."