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Urgent need for culture change in JCF

Published:Thursday | July 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The appointment of a commissioner of police is not the most important thing for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) right now.

The most urgent issues are to change the culture of disrespect within the force, put an end to the wanton disregard for the fundamental rights of the poor, and to renew the commitment to protect the poor and the weak.

The characteristics of the force, as far as its relationship with the poor is concerned, have not changed to any significant degree from the days of British colonialism, when the force was essentially a tool working for the State and the plantation and aristocratic classes.

The training programmes at the Police Academy and the Police Staff College need to be revised to place greater emphasis on the relationship with the poor.

The truth is, most of the officers rose in the ranks through the present programmes which are unsuitable, having regard to current conditions in the country.

Ken Chaplin

Former director of communications of the JCF