Prime Minister, Bruce Golding and National Security Minister, Derrick Smith, are scheduled to meet with key police and military personnel on (Sept. 24), to discuss efforts to deal with crime and the growing incidences of alleged police abuse.
The National Security Minister, who spoke to journalists on Friday (Sept. 21) following a graduation ceremony for 58 Caribbean law enforcement officers from the Twickenham Park-based Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC), said that the meeting, which will begin at 8:30 am, will also discuss the setting up of an independent investigative authority to look into allegations of police excesses.
Mr. Smith said that the creation of this independent body will be given priority attention at the highest level of the government. “We are so serious about this issue,” he said, noting that the setting up of the authority “will be fast tracked”.
The Prime Minister, last week, gave instructions for work to proceed immediately towards the establishment of the authority.
A release from Jamaica House said that this move by the Prime Minister was out of concern about the increasing number of incidents involving allegations of police abuse and unlawful conduct toward the public.
Minister Smith, who delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremony, praised REDTRAC for successfully training more than 5,000 personnel in the region since its inception in 1996, including members of the police and military, customs and immigration officers, port security personnel and computer technology experts.
“This has greatly reduced our dependence on other countries for training, produced greater cost effectiveness, and improved relationships between regional law enforcement bodies,” he said.
The 58 participants were drawn from 11 territories across the region including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis and the Cayman Islands.