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Police high command warns members against protesting INDECOM powers

Published:Sunday | August 25, 2013 | 5:21 PM

The Police High Command has distanced itself from comments from some rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) who have suggested they would not engage criminals as a means of protest against the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) power that subjects members of the security forces to arrest.

In a response to a Sunday Gleaner article: "We won't engage", the JCF High Command said it "wishes to distance itself from comments attributed to rank and file members of the Constabulary... (and) is cooperating, and has always cooperated with INDECOM, as is required by law".

"The High Command is also reminding members of the Constabulary that they took an oath to serve and protect the people of Jamaica, and as such they have an obligation to continue to perform their duties professionally, and with the same level of commitment and dedication," the statement, issued by the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN) this afternoon, continued.

The police high command added: "The force also remains resolute in its commitment to rid Jamaica of the scourge of crime, and will continue to develop and implement strategies to curb crime in the island."

It also advised members that the presence and powers of INDECOM should not in any way prevent them from carrying out their duties as long as they operate within the confines of the law.

In the article published today, one front-line member of the JCF was quoted as saying: "We simply won't go out of our way to enage."

Another JCF member, who is a sergeant, stated: "Why engage criminal elements if we are likely to be targeted by INDECOM? There are many jobs in the force that make it less likely to have confrontations."

Jamaica's Constitutional Court ruled in July that INDECOM did in fact have the power to arrest members of the security forces who breach the law. The ruling was issued in response to an application by several JCF members challenging INDECOM's power to arrest.


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