Mon | Jan 30, 2023

Poor service by police

Published:Monday | April 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Devon Dick's column ('Babylon police') on Thursday, April 26, touched me to the core and caused me a great sense of sadness. I, too, have been on the receiving end of police ill-treatment - as if you are not human or worthy to talk with them.

I am originally from western Kingston, born and bred, and grown. During that time, I had to go to police stations and the remand centre to find out why either or both of my brothers had been randomly detained. Neither of my brothers was a gang member; one was going to school, and the other had a job by the wharf, which he had to go back and beg for on numerous occasions because he didn't turn up because the police swooped down.

Not applicable

But when I went to talk with them, they tried to treat me like I was a stupid and illiterate, even though I had a better command of the English language than they did.

One policewoman even said to me that I should 'talk normal'. I said I am. She then proceeded to inquire if I don't speak Patois, to which I replied: "Only with my close friends, and it is certainly not applicable in such a setting as this." She got furious and told me I had to wait. I waited for more than four hours until I called someone I knew in the army, and that is how I got my brothers out.

I believe most Jamaican police lack customer service skills. I shouldn't have to grovel and beg to get proper service; it should be expected. Whenever I go to the police station to make an inquiry in a civil manner, I should be greeted, "How may I be of help to you?" Instead, I am treated with disgust, as if I don't deserve to be alive.

Thanks, Rev Dick, for voicing you concern and raising an issue that you can clearly see has scarred so many Jamaicans, including me.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania