Mon | Sep 25, 2017

End institutional disrespect to district constables

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 3:00 AM

End institutional disrespect

of district


I wish to bring to your and the public's attention the growing level of frustration among district

constables. We are faced with

serious problems every day that we go out to work. We receive

generally bad treatment by

members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

When we are on duty on the road, or even in some government buildings, most people don't recognise our uniform as police personnel; it's exactly the same uniform the port security and other security companies wear. Why are we given this very common uniform to wear? After all, the District Constable Act states that we are police.

Nevertheless, it would appear that the sole objective of some members of the JCF - and the divisional commanders, in particular - is to prove that the district constables are nobody and should be treated with no form of respect. This can be clearly seen in the fact that some divisional commanders often state that district constables should only guard prisoners and should not be on their teams.

In my opinion, it is very hypocritical of the powers that be to be talking about reducing the crime rate while treating a branch of the security forces like a group of handymen. In fact, it seems to me that a great flaw of the crime-reduction strategy is to institutionally segregate district constables. This is very evident in the regime which determines that district constables should only be trained to use and carry a 0.38 revolver.