Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Cops must have strong leadership to handle gang cases - DPP

Published:Wednesday | May 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn

WESTERN BUREAU:

Paula Llewellyn, Jamaica's director of public prosecutions, believes that strong and effective leadership is needed if the police is to successfully investigate and prosecute gang-related cases, leaving no room for weakness.

"As far as I am concerned, leadership is critical, because if you are going to have a leader in respect of gang investigations who is weak and ineffective, and who does not possess that mental toughness or what some would call 'testicular fortitude', then that weak leader can in turn become a toxic force to the investigators that he leads," noted Llewellyn, who was addressing the recent Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police 33rd annual conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

"When you are dealing with gangs, whether as law enforcement or as prosecutors, there is no room for weakness. You have to be courageous, you have to be disciplined, and you must be effective as a leader in leading your team."

Llewellyn further noted that part of being a good investigative leader includes knowing how to manage inter-agency cooperation and how to mentor younger investigators.

"Sometimes, law-enforcement agencies may want bragging rights if they are able to get a successful prosecution or break the back of a particular gang, but it means that the leadership has to manage the relationships and set the tone to make sure that the one result, in terms of breaking the back of a gang, is accomplished," stated Llewellyn.

"Sufficient guidance is not being given to the younger investigators, which again speaks to leadership," noted Llewellyn, who is known to be quite frank in her assessment of various situations. "You have to be a mentor, and the leader has to be there in the trenches to give the appropriate guidance."

One the first day of the four-day conference, Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's tourism minister, bemoaned the fact that the Caribbean region was losing billions of dollars in potential earnings because of crime and security concerns.

The conference was held under the theme 'An Integrated Approach against Serious and Organised Crime - Implications for Regional Growth and Development'.