Fri | Nov 17, 2017

New INDECOM report says cops breaching use of force policy

Published:Wednesday | September 21, 2016 | 9:36 AM
In the report, INDECOM Commissioner Terrence Williams said a study of 125 fatal police operations tells a tale of routine disregard for internal policies and protocols.

The Independent Commission of Investigations has submitted to the Parliament an alarming report that in just under two years, the police breached their use of force policy in planned operations in which 125 Jamaicans were killed.

INDECOM's finding contained in the agency's quarterly report was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon.

According to INDECOM, the incidents happened between July 2013 and December 2015.

In the report, INDECOM Commissioner Terrence Williams said a study of 125 fatal police operations tells a tale of routine disregard for internal policies and protocols.

The INDECOM report on planned police operations was part of an assessment of police commanders in a follow up to a 2014 study.

Commissioner Williams said it remains apparent that a significant number of deaths occurred during operations to execute search or arrest warrants.

He said many of the fatalities involved the Mobile Reserve, which had no written plan for 19 fatal operations in which it participated.

According to the oversight body, the tactic and requirement for police officers to enter a building for which there are no plans, limited lighting or no intelligence, exposed cops and others to high risks.

Meanwhile, INDECOM said over the review period, JCF commanders had a documented plan in only one of 125 operations between July 2013 and December 2015.

However, INDECOM says even that one plan was deficient.

INDECOM also said at a seminar with 60 senior JCF gazetted officers in February last year, they explained that the lack of documented plans may be because of ego, avoidance of accountability, ulterior motives, tradition and the magnitude of crime.

The oversight body said while those explanations are "honest", they are not acceptable.

Williams says in May a report on the matter was sent to the Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams and the Police Service Commission.

INDECOM said the names of the responsible commanding officers were also submitted.