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Shame! CISOCA boss decries apparent increase in rapes by cops

Published:Tuesday | May 28, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Brown: I am going to name and shame them. - Norman Grindley/Chief photographer

 Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The police unit responsible for investigating sexual offences says it appears more policemen are being accused of rape and is warning members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) that it would be a massive mistake to believe they are untouchable or would receive special treatment.

"No, not under my watch," declared Superintendent Gladys Brown, who heads the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

"I am going to name and shame them ... everybody knows me, I am not partial and I have said that from the day I took over CISOCA," she told The Gleaner yesterday.

Tough stance

Brown's tough stance comes in the wake of reports that a police sergeant, who is a past winner of the LASCO Top Cop award, is being investigated for allegedly raping his female companion on the compound of a police station in the Corporate Area last Thursday.

Sources close to the investigation say the sergeant was interviewed in the presence of his attorney last Saturday and a file has been sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a ruling.

The DPP's office yesterday acknowledged receiving the file, but there is no timetable for when a ruling will be made.

More than a month ago, two policemen attached to the St Catherine North Police Division were interdicted on suspicion of rape after a teenage girl complained that they sexually molested her.

However, the men were not pointed out during an identification parade and investigators are now awaiting the results of DNA tests.

In February, the DPP ruled that a police corporal based in St Catherine should be charged with attempted rape after he allegedly tried to have sex with a woman who was doing janitorial work at the station last year.

While conceding that there is no data to confirm whether there has been an increase in the number of policemen accused of rape, the CISOCA head said it "seems like more police (personnel) are getting involved in matters like this".

However, she argued that the perceived increase in complaints against policemen could be as a result of victims feeling more confident in coming forward and filing a report.

"People are seeing that when others make reports about policemen, we are not afraid to investigate and arrest them. So it's a possibility this could have encouraged others," she reasoned.

"It could be a possibility that people are now gaining a sense of confidence that their matter will be treated with respect and not be discarded because it's a policemen, so they think he is going to get different treatment," Brown argued.

Asked if the increase in allegations of rape against members of the JCF were being fuelled by a belief that they are untouchable, Brown said "if they feel that way, they are sick.

"What I know is that anytime the information comes to me, I am going to dig and tear down every partition, every wall to get to the matter and to deal with it decisively," she vowed.