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Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, has said that the launch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) 1-800-CORRUPT Toll Free Line is intended to strengthen the partnership between the Government and citizens, in an effort to arrest the problem of corruption occurring in sections of the public service.
Speaking at the official launch of the facility today (January 18) at the Police Officer’s Club in Kingston, the Senator Williams noted that a significant number of persons, who were aware of corrupt practices being carried out by unscrupulous public sector officers, are afraid to report these, out of fear for their safety.
“The presentation of the anti-corruption line to report corrupt practices is designed to encourage persons to partner with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the government, in the fight against corruption. It is a secure line to be answered outside of Jamaica, and will not allow calls to be traced.
“Many of us… are aware that there is often fear on the part of persons, who otherwise want to report what they know. But you will (be able to) do so with the present circumstances. This (Toll Free Line) will allow such persons to do so without fear of being exposed to wrongdoers against whom they are reporting,” he informed, and urged well-thinking citizens to be proactive in blowing the whistle corrupt individuals.
The State Minister advised that the launch toll free line will complement measures already implemented by the JCF in the fight against corruption, which have begun to reap success.
“The report from the recent JCF strategic review panel has revealed a number of corrupt practices that have become pandemic and against this background, the constabulary has recently taken decisive action to stop the corruption. Our anti-corruption plan has borne fruit, as in 2008, 56 police personnel and thirteen other persons were arrested on charges of corruption,” he disclosed.
Alluding to the government’s zero-tolerance approach to corruption, Senator Williams declared that the administration is committed to eradicating corruption across the board.
“The action taken by the constabulary force is being supplemented by the government. For example, the government has established a Special Prosecutor’s Office to review corruption cases within the constabulary force, and across government,” Senator Williams said, adding that the 1-800-CORRUPT line adds another component to that thrust.
Lamenting the declining public support for the JCF, the State Minister urged Jamaicans to utilize the toll free line, if they were more comfortable doing so rather than interfacing directly with the law enforcers.
“Over recent years the constabulary force has progressively lost public support due to the actions, attitudes and, at times, the corrupt behaviour of some officers. So I join the call throughout Jamaica to all citizens, make the call, use the1-800-CORRUPT line,” he urged.
The JCF toll free number is intended to provide an independent, secure, and anonymous telephone line through which members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Customs Department, and the general public may relay information or intelligence on corrupt practices which members of these and other agencies may be engaged in. All calls that are made to the 1800-CORRUPT number will be sanitized, and thereafter forwarded to a dedicated point of contact within the Anti Corruption Branch.
The Anti-corruption toll free line is a partnership involving the JCF, Crime Stoppers International, and Lime (formerly Cable and Wireless Limited).