JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has called on members of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) to help root out criminality and corruption from the police force.
Addressing the 25th annual Joint Conference of the Special Constabulary Force Association at the Jamaica Grande Hotel in St. Ann this morning (June 4), Mr. Golding said there is a need for the force to do some self-examination. He said that during last year alone, 56 members of the police force were arrested for one crime or another and there was a lotto scam which has claimed many lives.
“There is no point in being defensive or living in any denial that the integrity of the police force is under siege. We cannot depend entirely on the internal investigative machinery which has been strengthened and for which good police men and women have no need to fear. The fact is that the resources that the Commissioner has to be deploying to investigate members of the police force, should be used to investigate criminals outside, not within”, Mr. Golding noted.
The Prime Minister reminded the officers that when they are on the job they exercise the authority of the Commissioner of Police and should be mindful of the weightiness of the authority they carry. He said one of the significant recommendations of the Strategic Review was for a culture change in the police force. A review of the Constabulary Force Act is now underway.
Mr. Golding disclosed that he had met with the Opposition Leader the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller earlier this week and that one of the proposals being pursued in the discussions, was to give greater authority to the Commissioner of Police and to put a process of review in place, so that if someone feels he has been treated unfairly, the matter can be quickly addressed.
“I am unrepentant in my view that the Police Commissioner must be able to function as a manager; to manage his organisation but to be held accountable for the management he exercises. If he is making decisions on the basis of any favoritism or any malice, there is an authority that will hold him accountable”, Mr. Golding said.
He urged the officers who are committed to their jobs to become crusaders for a new police force that will command the respect of the people of Jamaica. They should not leave this responsibility to the Commissioner alone; and he urged them to break the code of silence and to replace it with a code of insistence on observing the principles under which the police will operate.
On the issue of the police taking Government to Court for salary increases, Mr. Golding said they had a right to do so and that the Government was not offended and would abide by the decision of the Court.

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