Forbes’ Indiscretion..

errol McleishContributor : Errol McLeish
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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 .

SSP James Forbes
SSP James Forbes
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

One thought on “Forbes’ Indiscretion..

  1. This is nothing new to the police force and those of us who have served and privy to certain information related to criminal cases, knows that this case involving SSP. James Forbes, if it wasn’t for the whites from :Britain” who have no “squaddies” in the Jamaica Constabulary Force or beholden to any politicians for their appointment made this possible.
    I know of several cases when I was stationed at Hunts Bay Police Station as a Detective Constable, where worse than this happens. One case which is outstanding and forever mind boggling to me, is a case in which two young Constable from Hunts Bay Police Station were involved in a shoot-out with gunmen. One of the men was hit and a firearm was recovered from him. The man was arrested and charged for his crimes, and was placed under police guard at Kingston Public Hospital. The Superintendent in Charge of “St. Andrew South” division instructed a Sergeant of Police to go to Kingston Public Hospital where the accused was released from police guard and custody without due process occurs. The man never faced the courts for his crimes, whether he was guilty or innocence of the charges he was charged for. The young police officers were “ostracized, marginalized, and be-little” by the Superintendent. The Superintendent was promoted and the Sergeant promoted to the rank of Inspector of Police. The Superintendent though is still serving and the Inspector of Police whom I used to enjoy a harmonious relationship, both expresses their dissatisfaction of me being outspoken about their actions.
    The Crime Chief, Divisional Detective Inspector, and the Sub Officer in charge of Hunts Bay Police Station at the time (all retired now) did worse than what SSP. James Forbes did and the Inspector was promoted to Deputy Superintendent and the Crime Chief and Sub Officer were forced to retire by the former Commissioner of Police Lucius Thomas. The systemic corruption within the police force is widespread, only that this one received media attention because of the persons who’re involved.
    Most times whenever someone get caught doing something wrong, is either the first time or it has been going on a long time and time caught up with them, because they have coverage (protection) from those who is at the helm of the organization.
    As young man growing up, my mother would say to me “all men are honest until they are caught!” There is no way around it.

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