Police High Command responds to INDECOM
Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor - Radio
The Police High Command is dismissing reports that 36 inmates died in police lock ups from 2005 to 2012.
In its special report, released on Wednesday, the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM reported that 36 persons died while in police lock-ups during that period.
INDECOM’s special report also found that 59 inmates in remand centres died while in custody over the same period.
However, in a statement, the Police High Command said its records show that 29 persons died in lock-ups.
The statement explained that of that number, seven inmates died from health-related issues such as ulcer, intestinal bleeding, HIV and heart failure while six were found hanging in their cells.
The Police High Command said it’s awaiting a response as to the cause of death for the other seven prisoners.
It said none of the deaths were as a result of confrontations with the police.
While noting that no one life is more significant than the other, it also pointed out that the mortality rate is lower than the 802,988 inmates who remain alive each year.
The High Command said it records show that only three inmates died in the Port Antonio police lock up and not five as was reported.
Additionally, it said there are no confirmed reports from certified mental health professionals that any of the five were mentally ill.
The Police High Command said it finds the comment that mentally ill persons are being treated inhumanely very disheartening as police personnel are trained to uphold very basic human rights.
The Police High Command also acknowledged that since the start of the year, the constabulary force has issued 7,618 non-lethal weapons as it encourages members to use less lethal force in conducting their duties.
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