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Call for special prison for corrupt politicians, cops

Published:Monday | March 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer


A SPECIAL court of justice and prison to prosecute and punish corrupt high-ranking officials and cops should be set up in Jamaica, a police inspector said yesterday.

His damning assessment of leadership throughout society - from the secular to religious, from politicians to the police - has been underscored by a wave of reports of police corruption, the latest being of a district constable arrested last Friday for trying to shake down a licensed firearm holder for $200,000 for the return of a seized weapon.

"We're not happy with the crime situation in Jamaica, we are not happy that our brothers and sisters continue to be involved in corrupt acts and other serious crimes," Inspector Roblyn Wedderburn of the Mobile Reserve division remarked.

Wedderburn was speaking at a religious service to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) graduating class of 1977, which was held at the Falmouth New Testament Church of God in Trelawny.

Ridding jamaica of corruption

Addressing the social and economic problems currently facing Jamaica in general and the constabulary specifically, the inspector noted that the society needed to coalesce around the mission of ridding the nation of corruption.

"This is why I believe that we should have a special court and a special prison for public officials, which includes police, politicians, and pastors," he said.

"We should have a special prison and a special court to deal with those of us who continue to be involved in corrupt acts."

Wedderburn acknowledged that the constabulary's morale and image were at an all-time low, referring to criticism peppering the force in the media and among other stakeholders nationwide.

"Certainly, we deserve most of what we're getting," he noted, "but I can assure you that it is less than 10 per cent of those in the force that are corrupt."

In the meantime, Corporal Wayne Wallace, coordinator of community safety and security in the Trelawny division, lauded the Class of 1977 for being an inspiration to the current generation of JCF officers in an age when the force was being bombarded with criticism.

"You have set the pace for the young ones, like myself and my colleagues, for us to have a job that we can be proud of," Wallace told the veterans.