The proposed merger of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), is high on the list of priorities of the Government.
According to Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, this forms part of a policy response to national security issues, both from the control and prevention aspects.
He said that from a control perspective, the emphasis will be shifting from a national security to a citizens’ security emphasis, as this is critical to build a trusted partnership, which will be the foundation of successful policing and sustained crime reduction in the long term. He added that there will be a shift from a police force to a police service.
The Minister was addressing the 28th Annual Joint Central Conference of the Special Constabulary Force Association, at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel, in Ocho Rios, on June 28.
“It is critical for the Police force to evolve, because we are facing an evolving criminal element,” Mr. Bunting said.
Pointing out that the JCF Act was passed in 1867 as a direct response to the Morant Bay rebellion, he argued that the constabulary force emanating out of that was a para-military type organisation, which tended to be different from most modern police forces, which have adopted a more civilian type service.
He suggested that changes would be made to the structures that govern the JCF, ISCF and the District Constables.
“We have said the time has come to bring all of this under a modern management and supervision framework, and we are going to call that statutory body the Police Management Authority, which will incorporate both the Police Service Commission and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority,” the Minister said.
“This will make it a more conventional corporate structure and it will provide for a much more efficient operation of policing,” he added. The Minister said the proposed merger of the JCF and the ISCF should be viewed from this wider context.
He explained that from the control side, there will be strategic responses, such as the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption (MOCA) task force targeting proceeds of crime, while from the prevention side, more resources would be put into social intervention than ever before.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter