JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has paid tribute to the police’s intervention which led to the find of a cache of guns and ammunition in the Mountain View area of Kingston, recently.
However, Mr. Golding says that even these successes, with preliminary indications of police involvement, do not remove the need for an Independent Commission of Investigations to probe criminal allegations against members of the security forces.
Mr. Golding was opening the debate on the Independent Commission of Investigations Bill, which seeks to replace the Police Public Complaints Authority and the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) with an independent body to investigate abuses by members of the security forces, including the JCF, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the Correctional Department and Jamaica Customs.
“I commend that team of police personnel who happened to have been travelling along Mountain View Avenue and who had reasons to be suspicious,” Mr. Golding said.
He explained that he commended them because it was his understanding that they insisted on pursuing the matter, despite realising that colleagues, including senior officers, could have been involved.
“There are some police personnel who might have felt, ‘boy, don’t go there’. In this case they said, ‘we are doing our duty,’ and I commend them for that,” he said.
Mr. Golding explained that he was not suggesting that the BSI has not made some impact on corruption and brutality within the JCF. He noted that the Bureau’s investigations have led to the arrest of 231 police officers since its inception in 1999. However, he felt that there was still a need to respond to public resentment of the police force investigating itself.
Debate on the Bill, which was one of the issues in the Government’s pre-election manifesto, will continue in the House of Representatives next Tuesday (Feb 16).

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