The Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM, says the Police Service Commission, PSC’s, independence in disciplining members of the Officer corps of the Jamaica Constabulary Force is an ‘illusion’.
INDECOM’s Commissioner, Terrence Williams, is calling on the PSC to revamp its protocol in disciplining the Constabulary’s gazetted officers.
Commissioner Williams says the PSC’s process in this matter is ‘hobbled’ by what he’s describing as the ‘veto’ power afforded to the Police Commissioner in these matters.
Commissioner Williams says INDECOM has reported 20 senior JCF officers to the PSC since 2013. But, the PSC has acted on none of them.
Commissioner Williams says the legislation that formed INDECOM, gave the independent body the powers to report disciplinary matters directly to the PSC.
But he says commissioners of police have ‘stymied’ the PSC’s independence by not submitting their reports. He points to the fact that no disciplinary action was taken after the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry. He says this is despite many officers being recommended for disciplinary action by that commission.
According to Commissioner Williams, this is a well-known problem stretching back at least a decade.
Commissioner Williams outlined a number of recommendations for the PSC. These include allowing anyone to make a report to the PSC and limiting the power of the police commissioner in reporting disciplinary issues.