KINGSTON – In its effort to rid its ranks of corruption, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has barred 137 members from re-enlisting.
This was stated in the 2010 performance report of the JCF’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), presented at a press conference at the Commissioner’s Office, Kingston, on Monday March 14.
Deputy Head of the ACB, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Selvin Hay, noted that 106 persons were arrested on suspicion of corruption during 2010, and charges were successfully laid against 71 of them.
SSP Hay explained that the remaining 35 persons were not all released, as some were dealt with internally.
“I’m not going to say that all of them were released, because when we arrest them, (for) some of them, the evidence is not strong enough to charge them criminally, but they are charged departmentally. So, the 71 represents criminal charges and the rest are dealt with departmentally, or otherwise,” he noted.
He pointed out that the ACB’s success has resulted from the implementation of a three-year strategy, in line with the strategic priorities of the Commissioner, the first strand of which speaks to preventing corruption and improving standards.
Giving a breakdown of the report, SSP Hay noted that for the January 1 to December 31 period, 28 police were retired in the public interest; 23 were dismissed as a result of corruption, with some cases still before the courts; and 36 staff members were charged with corruption.
SSP Hay noted that civilians had a major role in influencing staff to engage in unscrupulous activities. It was revealed in the report that 35 civilians were charged for trying to corrupt members of the JCF.
Pointing to other accomplishments of the branch in its anti-corruption efforts, SSP Hay noted that calls to the 1-800-CORRUPT (267-7878) line has also produced “enormous” results.
Launched in 2009, the JCF’s toll free number is intended to provide an independent, secure and anonymous telephone line, through which members of the JCF, the Customs Department and the public can relay information, or intelligence, on corrupt practices which members may be engaged in.
He further cited the efforts of the Ethics Committee established in August 2010,in ensuring that the JCF maintains high ethical standards.
SSP Hay said that the Committee has been working to bring to task individuals suspected of involvement in corruption. He pointed out that, even if the intelligence gathered is not enough to bring criminal charges against them, they are still confronted withthe information.
The SSP also noted that all senior officers recently promoted, were given an opportunity to appear before the Committee.
“It gave the officers the opportunity to know what is against them, and they are given a chance to ventilate the issues and the committee, in turn, would recommend particular actions,” SSP Hay said.
The Anti-Corruption Branch, established in September, 2007, assumed the task of combating corruption within the JCF and its auxiliaries, replacing the Internal Affairs Division.
CONTACT: ALECIA SMITH