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Who wants INDECOM officers dead? - Investigative body suspects cops after its members are threatened

Published:Saturday | August 1, 2015 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson
Terrence Williams (right) commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), Hamish Campbell, (centre) IDECOM's assistant commissioner and Dave Lewis, INDECOM's director of complaints central region at a Gleaner Editors' Forum last Friday.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has confirmed reports that some of its investigators have received threats, and the suspicion is that these are coming from cops who are being probed or members of their associates.

But despite the threats, head of INDECOM, Terrence Williams, is not giving in to calls to arm his investigators as they carry out their jobs.

"There have been threats to INDECOM staff members. The nature of the threats runs a gamut from persons making intemperate remarks, threats of what they will do, and what they will cause to be done," Williams told a Gleaner Editors' Forum last Friday.

"It also comes in intelligence that is gathered by agencies about whisperings of plans.

"The job of the INDECOM investigator is not an easy one. Apart from rogue officers or their friends who may threaten, it is also dangerous being out on the road at late hours where they have to go, because of their investigations," added Williams.

The INDECOM boss said while the threats have not been frequent, they are still matters of concern as his staff members are unarmed, and arming investigators is not an option he is prepared to explore.

According to Williams, who recently had his contract renewed for a further five years, the threats have been brought to the attention of the Police High Command, and INDECOM has bolstered its internal security framework and risk assessment.

Williams was supported by assistant commissioner of the agency, Hamish Campbell, who argued that making the incidents known to the High Command is one of the best ways to protect INDECOM's investigators and staff.

"There is cooperation with the senior police officers about it. We have discussed it, we have engaged with them," said Campbell.

In the meantime, Nigel Morgan, INDECOM's director of complaints for the eastern division, argued that a lack of cooperation from some younger members of the force might be influenced by officers at the middle-management level.

"Most members of the JCF cooperate with INDECOM. It is important for us to put that on the table. There are a few, however, who will be recalcitrant; when they are given instructions they disobey," charged Morgan.

"We have reason to believe that they are being influenced by a few officers who are the middle managers, who may be anti-INDECOM," said Morgan.