The Independent Commission of Investigations was created in 2010 by the Bruce Golding Government with the blessings and acquiescence of the Portia Simpson Miller-led People’s National Party (PNP).
An Act to make provision for the establishment of a Commission of Parliament to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the Security Forces and others agents of the State that result in death or injury to persons or the abuse of the rights of persons. https://www.indecom.gov.jm/
Under the provisions of the act, the Agency has broad and sweeping powers not only to investigate but it has taken it onto itself to arrest perceived offending members of the JCF and has engaged in its own illicit[sic] prosecution of members of the Constabulary with the full acquiescence of the JLP Administration in Kingston. This, though the agency have been rebuffed in the Appellate courts as to its lack of authority to act as investigator, arresting officer and prosecutor, something unheard of in any other part of the world.
It is now eight years(8) since the INDECOM law has been in effect, over that time INDECOM has succeeded greatly in causing hard-working police officers to literally drop their hands out of fear of being caught up in the demagogic web of slander which has been unleashed against members of the force by narcissist Terrence Williams and foreigner Hamish Campbell, the Commissioner and chief deputy of INDECOM.
As a consequence, Crime has increased exponentially year over year, more rank and file police officers are leaving the department, even as the JCF is unable to meet recruitment targets, commissioners of police are changed and exchanged and the nation is no closer to a solution of ending the bloodletting.
It is because of the immense power and influence of INDECOM that the latest salvo of accusation by INDECOM directed at the (JCF) is so befuddling.
Hamish Campbell, an assistant commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), declared that the repeated allegations of ‘planted firearms’ were beyond anecdotal.
Campbell, who was addressing a press conference at the commission’s head office yesterday, first gave examples of two instances where guns had been recovered from a fatal shooting. The weapons had already been submitted to the police laboratory in respect of a previous shooting, one as recent as this year.
“In those matters, there are witnesses who claimed an alleged ‘planting’, and the weapon seems to indicate some mishandling,” he said. He then disclosed that a recent investigation of a police shooting revealed that the firearm purported to have been found on the dead man was questionable because the same weapon was already recorded in police custody records as having been seized a month before.
Campbell also pointed out that the ballistic examination of a police MP5 weapon, held within a police armory, revealed that casings that matched that police weapon also matched casings found at the murder of two civilians from a previous time. He further disclosed that during a search of police premises, two weapons (revolvers) were found, which were recorded as being unaccounted for. A third weapon, which was found in a police drawer, had no record at all at the station.
The Police High command now under the leadership of a non-cop outsider was late in responding to these claims and only just yesterday managed a lack-luster predictable blah-blah.
“The JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) takes these allegations very seriously and would like the matter to be probed further. As a direct result, we have written to INDECOM asking them to provide us with the information regarding their public claims to facilitate further investigation. “The JCF is giving the public an undertaking that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and we will assist in bringing any member found in breach of the law to justice,” the high command said in a statement.
INDECOM has the power and resources to investigate and bring charges where warranted not to issue slanderous press releases without backing up those releases with tangible evidentiary facts.
Additionally, even if INDECOM is in possession of this kind of evidence why is the assistant commissioner making statements about it when it has a responsibility to bring criminal charges where applicable?
In light of these developments, it must clearly be understood that even if INDECOM has evidence of what it alleges, the thing to do is to proceed with further investigations then submit its full findings to the Director of Public Prosecution for her action.
Furthermore, it is abundantly clear that the idea behind these unsubstantiated allegations is to elicit maximum shock value and do immeasurable harm to the JCF at a time when crime continues to go down in St James even though not across the Island.
The leaders of INDECOM, Terrence Williams, and Hamish Campbell have never been content to work in the background, allowing their work to speak for them as real investigators are wont to do.
Instead, Williams and Campbell have opted for the more high profile grandstanding method which really is about appearances with precious little substance once the smoke screen settles.
In fact, the Police own Inspectorate branch has yielded much more tangible results than INDECOM’s 8-year effort has.
It is about time that ordinary people in the country demand that the Police clean up its act and become more credible with its accounting but more so that the Government move to repeal the INDECOM act and replace it with a law which protects police and citizens alike,
More importantly, whoever heads the agency should be guided by strict rules as to what they may divulge and what they may say in public.
INDECOM from its inception has been a cancerous tumor on the body of the Jamaican security apparatus resulting in untold dead and a massive erosion of the rule of law.
If the idea was to create a failed state, then the two political parties have been extremely successful in the creation of this anti-Jamaican Albatross which is now totally out of control.