Contributor : Errol McLeish
Email: : firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent conviction of Senior Superintendent James Forbes in Jamaica for corruption charges ,has been seen as a dark period in the Jamaica Constabulary Force and a retrograde step in its effort to project an image of incorruptibility . Even more dramatic isthe fact that the convicted Police officer was perceived in some circles as the face of the Police Force and an excellent prospective candidate for the post of Commissioner in years to come,if and when the officeis vacated by the incumbent .
Mr. Forbes, who was head of the community safety division of the JCF , from all accounts, was an exemplary police officer, who was engaging , approachable, eloquent, articulate and admirably intelligent and therefore it came as surprise to many , particularly in the JCF, that he could have made such an egregious error in judgement .
The Senior Officer, no doubt, would have been au fait with judicial procedures and that any attempt to intercede in a matter that’s headed for the court could be interpreted by an objective viewer as an attempt to pervert the course of justice and that’s how the court saw his action .
At a time when the actions of the police are being brought under the microscope, Mr Forbes should have been more circumspect , evaluate the situation and made suggestion and not facilitate a meeting between two parties in a matter that was headed for the courts. Even more compelling is that Mr. Forbes was no ordinary man on the street or a Police Officer , he was a senior officer who ought to have known better .
Its always regrettable when Police officers , particularly those of the calibre of Mr. Forbes , finds themselves in such position . I welcome a non custodial sentence in this matter and hope that Mr. Forbes will do some introspection in the interim , while the process of appeal is exhausted in the courts . I do hope too that other police officers will learn from this experience .
Errol Mc Leish