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West Kingston Enquiry: Police took no steps to secure Tivoli tunnels - Ellington

Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 9:04 AMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Tivoli Gardens

Former police commissioner Owen Ellington says the police did not take steps to man possible escape routes such as drains and tunnels in the lead up to the 2010 West Kingston operation because it was unsafe to do so.

Ellington says the police were aware of passageways which could be used by criminal elements to elude law enforcement.

However, he says no action was taken to post personnel at these exit points because it would have posed a threat to life.


Former Police Commissioner Owen Ellington

Ellington made the admission yesterday while responding to questions from the lawyer for the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, Garth McBean.

McBean pressed the matter, asking why no personnel or equipment was set up along or at the exit points of the tunnels.

The former commissioner said it would not be possible to do so as the tunnels and drains stretched across wide areas and ran through several communities.

Ellington stressed that intelligence showed that then fugitive Christopher Dudus Coke had fortified himself in Tivoli so there was no need for the security force to turn their attention to these escape routes.

Meanwhile, the former police commissioner said he was not aware nor did any investigations show that members of the JCF wore masks during the West Kingston operation in 2010.

Following the operations residents complained that they could not identify some of the men who invaded the community because they concealed their faces and wore a different kind of uniform.

However, Ellington said the police wore regulation uniforms during the Tivoli operation.

He said he did not receive any formal reports about members wearing masks, but heard about allegations, which were not verified.


Former Police Commissioner Owen Ellington and before him the attorney for the West Kingston Commission, Garth McBean.