INDECOM: WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY
It seems to me in Jamaica, we have had a tendency to stick to tried and true procedures and customs: Except now, we make a move to change a procedure, and replace it with another one. Well, what was wrong with the procedure before? Whatever it is, let us fix it, before we open a can of worms with a move that leaves almost everyone in the dark, and abrogates the decisions that we have achieved earlier in our Police Force.
The move to Indecom appears this way, and it is demoralizing, since the Police are also being challenged with the enforcement of ‘search and seize,’ and it weakens their enthusiasm. It also may threaten the Political Stability of the National Security with conflicting objectives.
We now have, what may be termed a potentially parallel Constabulary to our Jamaica Constabulary; which has existed over one hundred years, in the service of crime fighting.
The Police force has an arm to deal with its internal problems, called the Bureau of Special Investigations. (BSI). If their procedures are not working, why not fix BSI instead of making an alternative organization? There is now an additional law, and another place for staff, managers, vehicles and location. Who is going to approve the payment of this waste of money?
I envisage that this new organization will be seen as a threat to present authority by interference in crime at the most torrid level. Indecom will have at its focus to correct police activities, where the constabulary will be concentrating on the criminal’s actions, and these are not the same. These lead to divergent views; what would happen should Indecom be called to a site where unlawful activities are taking place and arrests the Officers at the scene? This may result in mayhem. What happens to the crime taking place? Should not the Indecom officers obtain the necessary warrants after satisfying a magistrate that such action is permissible, before any arrests are taking made? The Police Officers also have rights, which must be considered. The Government through the Minister puts them to do life- threatening tasks, and then attacks them for doing a necessary arrest or battling a live crime of violence. And this because some observers claim they have seen over-zealous actions by the police, which have not been brought before a court.
Now we have to resolve the other problem: (Quis custodiet ispos custodes?’) Who will watch the watchman, holding Indecom and navigate between Indecom and JCF? Is it going to take another law to be passed, and be rectified by the court? The problems with delays in the court and those poor practices in the Judiciary have left cases outstanding too long.
How many times has a criminal been set free, found not being guilty, only to be found again committing some heinous crime? Then what about the witnesses that fail to attend court, and are seen no more. The perpetrator gets away with major crimes; and the witness fails to return, dead or alive! This is where we need the help!
We are dispensing justice and order to the criminal, but he does not care, nor will he ever acknowledge it. Yet we now have in place an organization called Indecom that attacks the police from an angle which frustrates the loyal crime-fighters. Does it bother us that the designated authority decides to end a criminal’s miserable life without court processes, or witnesses? It doesn’t bother me; apparently it bothers some persons, but I do not believe in some situations we have the luxury of delay. Our criminals are much too vicious, and bringing the dove of peace and fair play to them will not make them desist. (626 words)