HEAD OF the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Assistant Commissioner of Police Selwyn Hay, has argued that anecdotal evidence alone is not enough to bring charges against senior officers of the force who might be involved in corruption.
The ACB boss noted that if senior officers were inclined to get involved in acts of corruption, they would use others to do their dirty work.
"Putting the cards on the table, senior people have young people do their work," Hay said.
Pressed by journalists yesterday as to why the ACB had not been successful in getting any convictions of senior officers who might be involved in corruption, Hay said his team approached all investigations with the same diligence.
However, he made it clear that the ACB could not use anecdotal evidence to arrest any senior officer who allegedly had been involved in corruption.
He pointed out that the allegation against any member of the force would have to reach a certain threshold before the director of public prosecutions would prefer charges.
Caught in sting operations
The ACB head said in most of the cases where police personnel have been charged with acts of corruption, they were caught in sting operations.
Hay said he often encouraged young police personnel that if they had any evidence that a senior officer had been in breach of the Corruption Prevention Act, they should provide the information.
He told journalists during a press conference yesterday at the Police Officers' Club in St Andrew that more than 20 members of the force, including senior officers, were asked to retire in the public interest last year, and more than 500 members of the force were separated from their job last year because of their involvement in acts of corruption.
The work of the ACB was yesterday hailed by the National Integrity Action during a conference to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.
From January to November 2013, the ACB charged 63 members of the force for breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act. This compares with 54 cops who were charged for corruption for the similar period last year.
Hay expressed grave concern that so many members of the force had been arrested for corruption.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Delworth Heath, who heads the Police Inspectorate, encouraged members of the public to report acts of corruption to the ACB. He said there had not been one report of intimidation or victimisation of persons who made reports to the police.