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Federation to review cop dismissals

Published:Saturday | March 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Police Federation has asked a team of attorneys to review the circumstances that led to the dismissal of over 50 police officers from the force in recent years.

Arguing that some of these dismissals violated the Police Services Regulation of 1961, one federation official disclosed that at the end of these reviews, it was expected that a number of cases would go to the Judicial Review Court to have them overturned.

This move by the federation comes even as the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report by the United States (US) State Department lauded the Anti-Corruption Branch for its "success in identifying and removing corrupt officials, which includes the dismissal of 59 JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) personnel".

Violating regulations

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the federation's position was that the majority of these cases was in violation of Section 37 of the regulations.

When contacted, chairman of the federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, would only say, "We are concerned as to whether or not the rule of law and the principle of natural justice are being considered and applied during the adjudication of these matters."

JCF communications director, Karl Angel said he did not comment on matters concerning the federation.

In addition, Angel and head of the Constabulary Communi-cations Network, Inspector Steve Brown, could not say how many police officers had been dismissed from the force in the last two years.

However, figures provided by the police show that 54 police officers were suspended from duty last year, compared to 58 in 2008. Additionally, 64 officers were arrested last year, mostly for breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, down from the 74 arrested the previous year.

Section 37 of the Police Services Regulation of 1961

A member acquitted of a criminal charge shall not be dismissed or otherwise punished in respect of any charge of which he has been acquitted, but nothing in this regulation shall prevent him being dismissed or otherwise punished in respect of any other charge arising out of his conduct in the matter, unless such other charge is substantially the same as that in respect of which he has been acquitted.