Decline in ‘Suspicious Fatal Shootings’ by Security Force

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The Independent Commission of Investigation, INDECOM, says suspicious fatal shootings by the security forces are declining.

It’s among the areas in which INDECOM is commending the Police Force.

INDECOM yesterday raised alarm about what it says is a 55-percent increase in fatal shootings by the security forces since the beginning of the year.

It says it finds this increase ‘disturbing’ and ‘worrying’. But it’s also noting improvements in other areas.

INDECOM’s Commissioner, Terrence Williams, says last year, there was a 38-percent decline in suspicious fatal shootings.

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Another area in which the JCF has shown improvement, is in its execution of planned operations.

Mr. Williams says three years ago, INDECOM expressed concern that too many people were being killed during planned police operations.

He says there’s now a decline.

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Mr. Williams was speaking yesterday at a media conference at the Commission’s Kingston office. He says, in 2016, documentation was presented in four of the 21 planned police operations in which fatal shootings occurred.

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And Mr. Williams is calling on the the government to implement a policy that will make sensitive documents more accessible to INDECOM for court proceedings and commissions of enquiry.

He says the Commission has been told on numerous occasions that information it requires can’t be provided because it enjoys public interest immunity.

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He says Parliament should consider a policy used by the United Kingdom during its enquiry into its involvement in the Iraq war.

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He also wants post mortems and corresponding reports to be completed in a more timely manner.

Mr. Williams says, on average, it takes 30 days to complete a post mortem and five months to get the report. He says since its inception in 2010, INDECOM has only resolved eight matters before the court.

Mr. Williams says 35 cases of manslaughter and murder remain before the courts, 26 of which are at least three years old.

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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.