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LETTER OF THE DAY - Police should pay for damaging service vehicles

Published:Sunday | January 13, 2013 | 12:00 AM


Frequently, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) are given brand-new vehicles to fight crime. Taxes amounting to millions are often thrown in the way of the police by purchasing new cars, SUVs, motorcycles and trucks.

JCF or ISCF members who negligently damage service vehicles by reckless driving, and use them for private purposes such as transporting casually unauthorised personnel, should be penalised. For security reasons, Mr Commissioner, it should be illegal to park service vehicles overnight at homes, bars and clubs that may render servicemen and women vulnerable to criminal forces.

Unwanted accidents and ill-treatment of expensive vehicles happen too often. These unserviced or written-off motor cars may end up at the Traffic and Repairs Division of the Force where spare parts cannot be sourced, and subsequently rot and become fodder in the scrap-metal trade.

Board of inquiry

A board of inquiry should be convened to check whether police personnel negligently wreck vehicles. The Jamaica Defence Force has that policy - members who are found guilty, pay for the damage or are dismissed. The same measure should apply to the constabulary, depending on the circumstance.

I am pleading, as a taxpayer, to National Security Minister Peter Bunting not to easily spend our money to purchase brand-new vehicles for the police, but strategise and implement measures to curb irresponsibility such as dangerous driving.