Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Letter of the Day | Corruption rife in police force

Published:Saturday | November 5, 2016 | 11:00 AM
Montague

THE EDITOR, Sir:

One of the significant problems affecting the Jamaica Constabulary Force is the extensive corruption among its ranks. National Security Minister Robert Montague must recognise the importance of tackling this long-standing problem.

I listened carefully to a former police commissioner on a radio interview show saying that the problem of corruption among the police force is hindering the constabulary from more forcefully and surgically tackling the corruption in the force. And he is so correct.

Minister Montague should proceed to formulate the necessary policies that will allow the corrupt cops to be extricated from the JCF and thrown out quickly. There are too many corrupt and untrustworthy cops damaging the force's reputation and involved in all sorts of criminal activities. Currently, we citizens have lost trust in the force. And it's getting worse.

What plans does Minister Montague have to reform the force? I do believe that former deputy police commissioner, Mark Shields, should be appointed deputy commissioner of police in charge of crime and operations to assist with reforming the JCF.

In relation to the Interception of Communications Act, cellular phone providers who breach the law should be criminally prosecuted and fined and sanctioned accordingly. Under the act only the commissioner of police or his appointee, deputy commissioner of crime and or deputy commissioner in charge of intelligence; and JDF chief of staff or head of the military intelligence unit can apply to a Supreme Court judge in chambers for a 30-day wiretapping telephone warrant to intercept and monitor a phone number reportedly involved in criminal activities.

The warrant can be extended by the Supreme Court justice based on crime-related evidence gathered from the wiretap and presented to the said justice in chambers.

No phone company should wiretap any phone number unlawfully without a Supreme Court warrant specifying a time period and be passing on such wiretap info to a third party.

It is wrong, unconstitutional and a breach of the Charter of Rights. Minister Montague should make a firm statement on the consequences of breaching the law.

RAMESH OGILVIE

Falmouth Street

Falmouth Post Office, Trelawny.