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Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, is urging Jamaicans to hold the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to the standards set out in the JCF Citizens’ Charter, which was officially launched yesterday (Aug.19) during a press briefing held at the Police Officers’ Club.
He added that the policies, guidelines and procedures that are set out in the Citizens’ Charter, are not unique to Jamaica, but are standards expected of any modern first world society.
“The bar is raised to world standards, and as our athletes have proven, we are equal to world class standards once we set our minds to it. As we undertake this journey, I invite the citizens to hold us to the standards set out in this charter,” Rear Admiral Lewin said.
He also stated that the JCF has embarked on a journey of transformation to a modern police service that is professional, intolerant of corruption and is citizen- focussed.
“It is very important that communities at the same time be transformed because it’s through transformation of our communities that we get to transform that relationship between citizens and their police service,” Rear Admiral Lewin said.
He also added that “we need your critical support and understanding as policing is not a task for the police alone and we must make this partnership work.”
Meanwhile Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Novelette Grant, Head of Policy Strategy and Plans, explained that the Citizens’ Charter, clearly states the JCF’s intentions, to work in partnership with the citizens of Jamaica for a safer country.
“What this document has done is set out for us a commitment to the highest possible standards of service. It sets out the standards of service we aim to deliver in order to keep our promise. It also details how you can bring to our attention instances when we fail to meet your expectations,” ACP Grant said.
She added that the Citizens’ Charter stresses respect for law at all times; respect and equitable treatment for all individuals; policing in genuine partnership with the community; commitment to the developmental needs of the Jamaican society; and citizens’ rights and expectations.
“There are a number of areas that tell citizens about their basic rights and tell you what you can expect from members of the police force. There are some areas that are very contentious and one of those most contentious areas between police and citizen, is when you are stopped by the police,” ACP Grant said.
“What we are trying to say to people is that your responsibility is to pull over and then the police have certain responsibilities when they approach you, by identifying themselves and telling you what they have stopped you for. We are asking citizens to respond in a civil and cordial manner,” she added.
The Citizens’ Charter was drafted by the Professional Standards Branch of the JCF. Copies of the Citizens’ Charter have been circulated within the JCF from March, 2008 in both hard copy and electronic format.
Copies have also been circulated to places such as the Justice Training Institute; the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica; the Media Association of Jamaica; the Jamaica Information Service and the Office of the Prime Minister.