Tue | May 22, 2018

'Unfortunate' - DPP defends cops, warns Harriott over 'toxic' JCF claim

Published:Friday | February 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson/Staff Reporter
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn greets Calcin Wilson, executive director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force based in Trinidad and Tobago, during a two-day Financial Investigations Division conference, which concluded yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn is taking issue with sociologist Professor Anthony Harriott's labelling of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as "toxic" when he, last week, called for Government to move swiftly with a bill to separate the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) from it.

Addressing a conference organised by the Financial Investigations Division (FID) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Llewellyn cautioned against the call made by Harriott, who heads the Police Civilian Oversight Authority.

"I say, with the greatest of respect, that this unfortunate characterisation of one law enforcement organisation against another not yet established, legislatively, will ultimately create distrust and thwart any collaborative efforts in the fight against organised crime," posited Llewellyn, adding that criminals would only capitalise on tensions between the two agencies.

"It takes leadership at all levels within an organisation to make sure you get the best out of a highly motivated workforce," she continued.

"Success will almost entirely depend on all stakeholders working together in unison and building a dedicated mechanism with responsibility for seizing the proceeds of crime."

Harriott, as he pressed for the legislation, said last week that "the JCF is toxic" and that there was no point in spending a lot of money and giving individuals high-level training for them to become part of such an occupational culture.

He said that the constabulary force was woefully unaccountable.

Yesterday, Llewellyn said that Jamaica has implemented a host of legislation to deal with organised crime fighting but that they, by themselves, would not work.

"Let me be bold to say that any successful separation of the profit from the organised crime group goes well beyond the mere presence and enactment of legislation and administration ... a country may have an excellent legislative framework and a well-established administrative process, and yet it still may be virtually impossible to deal with these challenges," she said, adding that Jamaica was not in a state of anarchy as the country was often portrayed.

"We are prey to transnational crime, and the fact is that in the same way that law-enforcement has gone global in cooperation, the criminals are a step ahead, having gone global before. It is a fact of life, and we have to deal with it with what we call mental toughness," she said.

The two-day FID conference was dubbed 'Taking the Profit out of Crime, What Does It Take?' and featured several criminal investigators from Jamaica as well as the United Kingdom.

corey.robinson@gleanerjm.com