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SECURITY MINISTER OVERREACH AND DISRESPECT IN STATEMENT ON JCF PROMOTIONS IS AN AFFRONT TO GOOD GOVERNANCE

SECURITY MINISTER OVERREACH AND DISRESPECT IN STATEMENT ON JCF PROMOTIONS IS AN AFFRONT TO GOOD GOVERNANCE

Kingston, Jamaica, September 7, 2017: The People’s National Party (PNP) fully supports the need for immediate attention to all the factors affecting police morale and operations, including promotions, but is warning the Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague that ministerial overreach and public disrespect of the JCF Act and the police leadership cannot be tolerated.

In a statement this afternoon, the party said it reminded the Minister that the law specifically restricts his role in policy and prohibits him from interfering in operational matters which are the sole purview of the Commissioner of Police.

The party said, it, therefore, considers the Minister’s statement on promotions to be out of order in both tone and content. It disrespects the role of the Commissioner and is a scandalous attempt to interfere in the administrative affairs of the JCF, with particular reference to the promotions of its officers. The environment for effective crime fighting in Jamaica must include respect for the rule of law and the roles of the leadership, and rank and file of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Police Services Commission.

The PNP believes that there is a range of matters now affecting police morale, including emoluments and the 2017/19 pay offer, the inclusion in the ZOSO Act of criminal penalties for breaches of the six-month resignation notice period, the poor conditions at some police stations and the lack of operational resources, especially vehicles. These, the PNP suggested, would be proper policy issues for which Ministerial attention would be most welcomed by all Jamaica.

The PNP also suggested that the police would also welcome Minister Montague giving his immediate attention to the replenishment of the Police Legal Fund, which supports police personnel who are accused in the line of duty with the long and costly process of defense in the courts.

In addition, the Opposition is also reminding the Security Minister that the ‎speedy implementation of the recommendations that come out of the Joint Select Committee’s review of the Indecom Act, including the establishment of an independent and reputable Board of Commissioners as part of the structure of Indecom, to ensure appropriate checks and balances in the execution of Indecom’s extensive powers of investigation and prosecution of members of the security forces, is another matter requiring his ministerial focus.

The Party suggested that these were all urgent matters requiring Ministerial attention while Commissioner Quallo deals with operational issues and the spiraling murder rate which continues to affect the entire Jamaica.

Ministerial interference which ignores the law should not be countenanced, even while the party supports policemen getting their just promotions as dictated by relevant operational policies.