Acting Police Commissioner Pledges to Improve Accountability

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Acting Police Commissioner, Clifford Blake says he’ll improve the accountability framework of the Constabulary if he’s confirmed in the top cop job.

ACP Blake has been acting in the post since Former Commissioner George Quallo resigned last month. He says all senior police officers have admitted they can do more to hold rank and file members accountable with the limited resources they now have.

Blake also says National Security Minister Robert Montague has pledged to give him his full support.

ACP Blake has taken the helm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, at a time when the institution is rife with allegations of corruption and is presiding over a runaway murder rate.

Over 200 people have been murdered in the first 46 days on this year. But ACP Blake believes he has what it takes to solve some of the problems plaguing the Force.

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The tough-talking Blake says four rank and file members of the JCF were fired last week for various breaches of the organisation’s policies. He’s also urging members to renew their firearm licenses with the Fire Arms Licensing Authority, that’s given the officers until April one to do so.

The Acting Commissioner is warning that delinquent JCF members will be prosecuted.

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ACP Blake says the JCF has taken a decision to dominate the streets, in a bid to address wanton lawlessness. And he says he has the full support of National Security Minister Robert Montague.

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In the meantime, Acting Police Commissioner Blake says the streets of Jamaica are awash with firearms. He was responding to questions on the community of August Town that is now under siege by marauding gunmen.

Blake is also renewing his call for a minimum sentence of 10 years for the possession of an illegal firearm.

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Currently, persons can even receive a non-custodial sentence for the illegal possession of a firearm.

Meanwhile, the Acting Police Commissioner is decrying an incident which resulted in a media worker being pepper-sprayed by a member of the Constabulary.

The videographer was recording a policeman arresting a man for littering in Cross Roads, St. Andrew.

Blake says he’s called a meeting with media workers to reassure them the police are hoping to maintain the good relations it has enjoyed with the media.

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Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.