JIS News

This month, the Ministry of National Security will begin a strategic review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The review, slated to come to an end in May 2008, forms part of a plan to improve the operations of the nation’s police force.
Speaking at a press conference today (July 17), to launch the review, Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips pointed out that the analysis was in keeping with the recommendation of the National Security Policy, which also recommended an evaluation of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and the judicial system, a process which has already been completed.
“The JCF, in many ways, needs to reform itself in order to keep pace with new technologies, keep abreast of new approaches to policing and new challenges in a national and international environment,” Dr. Phillips reasoned.
The public has identified a number of challenges within the Force, he informed, including complaints of abuse of power, corruption, training, transparency in the administration and as such, “we think the organization can benefit tremendously from having this review by persons who have experience in management, policing, the public sector, as well as persons who have had experience in the JCF itself.”
According to Minister Phillips, the terms of reference for the panel include a review of the legislative framework for the JCF and its auxiliaries, including a full assessment of the Police Service Regulations and the Book of Rules, an evaluation of the effectiveness and relevance of current policing strategies and operational procedures, human rights issues and the use of force policy.
The Minister explained that in performing its duties, the committee would be able to conduct consultations with key stakeholders within the JCF, the general population and the Opposition. “The committee is free to speak with anyone and everyone they might consider it necessary to consult with,” Dr. Phillips said.
The review panel will be chaired by the President of Northern Caribbean University, Dr. Herbert Thompson. Other members include: Professor Clifford Shearing, Director, Institute of Criminology, University of Cape Town; Stephen House, Head, Specialist Crime Directorate, Metropolitan Police Service, UK; Cal Corley, Chief Superintendent, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada; Hubert Williams, President, Police Foundation, USA; Noel F. Eldridge, Retired Deputy Commissioner of Police; Shirley Tyndall, Chairman, National Contracts Commission and Peter Moses, Vice President, Citibank.
Expressing gratitude for being selected Chairman of the committee, Dr. Thompson said that he hoped the recommendations would not be put on a shelf, but would be implemented to help achieve the goals of the Ministry.
The Strategic Review is being conducted by the Ministry of National Security in collaboration with the Police Civilian Oversight Authority. The review panel will be supported and advised by a Senior Resource Group comprising the Commissioner of Police as well as public servants drawn from the Ministries of National Security and Justice, and a number of other organizations.

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