Tue | Sep 26, 2017

INDECOM's role key to law and order, says Holness

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2016 | 8:00 AM

"INDECOM is here to stay".

That was the message Prime Minister Andrew Holness had for the people of Jamaic at the commission's church service, held last Sunday at the St Ann Parish Church.

Holness' message was delivered by Derrick Smith, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, who was representing the prime minister as the commission celebrated its sixth anniversary.

Addressing worshippers during the service held under the theme: 'Promoting Principled Policing', Smith said, as a government, the vision for INDECOM (The Independent Commission of Investigations) is that it becomes an organisation that has the confidence of both citizens and the State.

 

COLLABORATION KEY

 

"Our vision, we know, is shared by a vast majority in society and within law enforcement. What is also interesting about the vision for the commission is that, instrumental to its success is a strong partnership with the police force and the army.

"It was never our expectation," Smith said, "that there should be any adversarial relationship between INDECOM and agents of the State, but rather one of collaboration and partnership.

"Despite the teething pains," he added, "I would like to commend the commissioner of INDECOM, Terrence Williams and his teams and commis-sioners of police, past and present, for the important work they have done, and continue to do, to build public confidence in our security forces and correctional officers."

Smith urged the congregation to support INDECOM as, while many may not recognise the importance of commission, its role in aiding positive evolution of the Jamaican system of law and order is extremely significant.

"If people have no confidence that they can call on an objective arbiter if their rights are being breached, then distrust will fester," he said.

It is this distrust, he emphasised, that has infested our society, undermining the efforts of the rule of law and undermining our institutions.

"Having an organisation whose role is not merely to lock up police, foster negative perceptions or dismiss concerns of citizens, but rather aspires to get to the truth is extremely significant for all in a just society," he said.