17 rogue cops dismissed from JCF last year
Seventeen members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were refused re-enlistment for various disciplinary breaches in 2021, according to Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Stewart, who is in charge of the administration portfolio.
Stewart, during a virtual press conference on Tuesday at the police commissioner's office in St Andrew, was speaking against the backdrop of a report issued by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) that questioned the integrity of the JCF in disciplining its members. INDECOM reported that the JCF had failed to conduct any disciplinary hearings for cases submitted to them by the entity between January 2018 and June 2021. INDECOM said it submitted 80 reports to the JCF during the period with recommendations for disciplinary proceedings to be considered and/or instituted for 108 officers.
But Stewart said that in 2021 the JCF had 360 orderly room charges with 314 of them ending in convictions.
"But that notwithstanding, many of the cases have been dealt with informally, meaning that the members were called, spoken to and warned based on what we have in front of us," he said, adding that following a meeting with INDECOM, a decision was made to address the issue.
"We have decided on a course of action that will work through some of the difficulties and will determine another course with respect to some of those that cannot be dealt with now because of legislative reasons. So in terms of actual hearings, four of the 80 cases have been heard. Three are to be completed and one is complete," he said.
INCREASE IN MURDERS
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson said that murders, particularly in Westmoreland, St James and Trelawny, have significantly increased in recent weeks, a trend which has accounted for 35 per cent of the island's homicides in 2022.
"We will watch it over the next three months as we see some of these things that we are implementing starting to take hold of the situation," he said. Anderson said that the bloodletting is a result of warring factions in the illicit lottery scamming trade turning guns on each other.
"We will use every tool and law that we have at our disposal to deal with this violence in western Jamaica," he said, noting that the police are doing additional operations in the St James to Westmoreland space, targeting some of the people that they know are carrying out the violence. He said that the police have been occupying the spaces and routes that these individuals normally use, utilising traditional techniques and technology.
"That is why I am reasonably confident that over this quarter we should see a change in what is happening in the west as we pay more attention and put more focus on it," he said.