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Provide greater oversight for the security forces

Published:Friday | July 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) should come under greater civilian oversight when they are performing policing duties.

That's the recommendation of the Sir David Simmons-led West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, which investigated the conduct of the May 2010 police-military operations in Tivoli Gardens.

Below is the full text of the commission's recommendations on strengthening oversight of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and oversight of the JDF's involvement in policing operations.



The structures that are responsible for the oversight of the police include the Independent Commission of Investigations, the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, and the Police Service Commission. These structures are responsible for different aspects of the oversight of the JCF. We recommend that they be strengthened in terms of their capacities to fulfill their functions effectively.



If there is a structural gap in the system of oversight, it is related to the JDF. Armies are treated differently from police forces. They are accountable in different ways.

However, to the extent that the JDF has become routinely involved in policing and is required to play a major role in internal security operations, it is our view that this aspect of their work, that is, their policing work, should be subjected to a greater measure of external civilian oversight.

In this report, we limit ourselves to proposing that the principle be accepted or, at least, be examined by the Government and the leadership of the JDF.

Please see full report at