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Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips has called for a concerted effort and commitment from the public and the police in the fight to stamp out corruption in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Speaking at the launch of the JCF Anti-Corruption Strategy at the Police Officers Club on Hope Road in Kingston, today (Oct. 26), Minister Phillips expressed confidence in the new strategy and charged all stakeholders to make a vested effort in removing the tainted image of the JCF.
“Our resolve is to recognize the weaknesses within our organization and do something about it. This public recognition of the fact that corruption exists along with the expressed determination to confront it, is an integral part of the reform process which is being implemented,” the Security Minister noted.
The Strategy, which was launched under the theme ‘Confronting Corruption’, is the latest initiative by the JCF in its efforts to regain public confidence and improve the image of the Force by reducing the incidence of corruption including the acceptance of bribes by officers.
Dr. Phillips further added that if the nation was to survive the erosion of traditional norms and values “the JCF along with the fraternity of teachers are the national institutions with the most critical roles to play”.
“Let us therefore go forward on the basis of a commitment to win the fight against corruption and to create the kind of police force that will not only manage crime more effectively but build an institution characterized by integrity, public morality and courage,” the Minister charged.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas in his remarks said the launch of the strategy-represented hope for the JCF and the country.
“We have embarked on a new path but these efforts are being undermined by the pervasive public perception of widespread corruption” he explained.
Continuing he noted that the new strategy would seek to protect “whistle blowers” and possessed the necessary and requisite conditions to stamp out corrupt police officers.
“All reports will be thoroughly investigated and results will be widely publicized whether good or bad,” he informed.
He also called for the support of all stakeholders to work together in the latest effort to ‘purge the force’ of corruption.
The goals of the anti-corruption strategy include Leadership and supervision for standards compliance; improved communication network within the JCF; gathering of intelligence; recruitment, education and training of JCF members; corruption prevention; and investigation.
A handbook on the new strategy has been made prepared and made available by the Professional Standards Branch of the JCF.