JIS News

President of Northern Caribbean University, Dr. Herbert Thompson, will chair a panel of local and international experts, which will carry out a strategic review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to among other things, assess the effectiveness and relevance of the organization’s policing strategies.
Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, who made the announcement during his contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 13), explained that the scope of work will include a review of human rights issues relating to the appropriate use of force, and the effectiveness of provisions to counter instances of abuse of power and corruption within the JCF.
The review team will also look at the mandate and effectiveness of oversight and administrative bodies, including the Police Civilian Oversight Agency, the Police Public Complaints Commission, and the Police Services Commission.
“The team will also explore a wide range of institutional issues including the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the current organizational structure including entry requirements; the ratio of police to population; the rank structure; the structure of the officer core; the ratio of supervisors at all levels; the role and functions of specialized units; information channels and flow; promotion guidelines; and compensation policy,” he informed.
According to the Minister, “there are too many complaints about the level of indiscipline, and too many who question the structure of pay and rewards in the service. Equally, morale suffers when questions arise about issues of accountability, transparency and promotions”.
The review is also expected to assess the core functions of the JCF, with particular reference to the move towards civilianization and the role of the JCF in relation to other law enforcement and security agencies.
Additionally, the Security Minister told the House that the legislative framework for the JCF and its auxiliaries, including a full evaluation of the police services regulations and the book of rules, will also be assessed.
The review panel, Dr. Phillips said, will engage in consultations with key stakeholders as well as representatives from the general population and relevant international partners and law enforcement agencies.
“They will also assess the effectiveness of current service delivery and develop recommendations to achieve optimal levels of effectiveness and efficiency, particularly with respect to regional accessibility, and changes in population patterns,” he informed.
Dr. Phillips said that arrangements are now being finalized for the international members of the panel.

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