Whose grand idea was it to investigate where there are no allegations of impropriety ,or criminal misconduct? The Jamaica Constabulary Force certainly needs oversight. No one could reasonably disagree with the idea of oversight of Police Agencies and certainly not the (JCF). Oversight however should not be a witch-hunt with personal agendas . Why waste time and scarce resources looking for wrong-doing where there is none. Interestingly as is customary in Jamaica where everything is done incorrectly, that is exactly how they do business. The formation of the neophyte Agency , the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) does exactly that. The Agency’s head Terrence Williams the first to head the Agency has been little more than a power-hungry Media whore whose bid to become the Director of Public Prosecution fell flat. Since becoming Commissioner of this virgin Agency Williams seemed to relish in the idea of creating a rift between the new Agency and the JCF, to show Independence and prove his bona fides. In fact Williams made that point clear by attending a Press Conference with Carolyn Gomes then head of anti-police Antagonist group, Jamaicans for Justice(JFJ). That decision created much angst and consternation among members of the police department. If Terrence Williams wanted to deliberately create enemies , he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. That did not seem to bother Williams who has continued to seek out the media in a push for more power. Because of it’s lack of objectivity Jamaicans for Justice, is not taken seriously by objective observers. The group is largely supported and embraced by criminals and their supporters.
Despite Williams rapacious hunger for power and his pitiful pleas for more, INDECOM has been forced to concede that in the majority of cases it investigated, there was no wrong-doing on the part of officers. Now let me be clear, I am elated that this Elitist Agency is looking into police conduct. If INDECOM has the trust and confidence of the population then all the better for the blue-collar members of the JCF, who actually produce results for the pittance they are paid.
The difference in countries like the US , Canada and the UK is that these countries believe in the rule of law. Their law-enforcement oversight takes nothing from the process it enhances the process. Officers get to do their jobs safe in the knowledge that as long as they follow the laws they are insulated from criminal prosecution. Can members of the JCF say the same? INDECOM snoops around every police shooting scene, this is a waste of time and scarce resources which could be more judiciously used. It creates the impression of wrong-doing , even when there are no allegations of any. Police Officers are removed from front-line duties on the flimsiest allegations made by any one police-hating witness. Many times these witnesses are manufactured. Anyone privy to the crime situation in Jamaica must gasp at this notion considering the level of support criminals get in this nation of 2.7 million.
1) Organized crime and other criminal elements are prevalent and extremely active. Most of the criminal activity is gang-related. The police have only resolved (make arrests) 44 percent of homicides annually, and they only convict perpetrators in five percent of the homicide cases. This leads both the public and police to doubt the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, leading to vigilantism, which exacerbates the cycle of violence. Based on their past experiences, most civilians fear that, at best, the authorities cannot protect them from organized criminal elements, and, at worst, are colluding with criminals, leading citizens to avoid giving evidence or witness testimonies.
2) Kingston is rated “Critical” for crime by the Department of State due to a high frequency of criminal activity throughout Jamaica. Violent crime is a serious problem, particularly in Kingston. In 2012, Kingston saw a reduction in the murder rate and other violent crimes. This reduction may be attributed to proactive police actions. There were 1,083 murders, 1,218 shootings, 763 carnal abuse, 833 rape, 2,679 robberies, 3,094 break-ins, 691 larceny cases recorded in 2012. With a population of approximately 2.7 million people, the number of murders and other violence places Jamaica in the top five tiers of the highest per capita homicide rates in the world. https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=14289
The inept Administration in Kingston is incapable of getting anything right. Crime is eating away at the fabric of the Country. It is believed even in International circles that crime is being supported by people who ought to be working toward its elimination (not the police). Someone in the Administration with a little brain, Peter Phillips now holding the Finance Portfolio maybe, please impress upon the Prime Minister in the simplest terms possible, that passing IMF tests is good for the IMF , but bad for the people.
The daily depreciation of the dollar is proof positive that things are not getting better. This economy is eventually going to crater, when it does the blame will be hung around your neck, despite the years of harm Omar Davies did. If you believe crime is high now wait a little longer when the country is forced to apply even more austerity to satisfy the puppeteers at IMF Headquarters. Peter Phillips you bucked the system before. Maybe you need to do it again for Country.