House com­mit­tee frus­trated over ten­sion be­tween INDECOM, po­lice

Jamaica Gleaner - - RURAL GROWTH, INVESTMENT, JOBS - Jo­van John­son Staff Re­porter jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com

WHEN TER­RENCE Wil­liams yes­ter­day op­posed the sug­ges­tion that a me­di­a­tor look into con­cerns be­tween the In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of In­ves­ti­ga­tions (INDECOM) and the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF), he was quickly shut down by Manch­ester North Western rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mikael Phillips, who lamented the per­sis­tent fric­tion be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“I don’t know if I am the fool in­side here or you are be­ing fooled, but if a doc­u­ment is sup­posed to be signed and a year passes and it is not signed, then some­body not com­fort­able,” Phillips said.

Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment’s Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Ap­pro­pri­a­tions (PAAC) were sur­prised by Wil­liams’ dis­clo­sure that for more than a year, the two en­ti­ties have made no progress on sign­ing off on a pro­to­col to gov­ern how INDECOM takes state­ments from po­lice per­son­nel.

Wil­liams made the dis­clo­sure in his re­sponse to a claim last week from Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Glen­more Hinds that he flips on agree­ments, and in the process frus­trates, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the INDECOM head and the po­lice.

The INDECOM boss said the claim was “un­founded” and in­stead read aloud emails to sup­port his view that it is the po­lice who have been stalling the only pro­to­col he said needs to be signed off to pave the way for the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU).

“I don’t think there’s any need for any me­di­a­tor be­tween our­selves and the JCF on this point,” he said.

“Mr Hinds, who spoke last week, is not part of those ne­go­ti­a­tions. For some un­known rea­son, which has not been ex­pressed to us, the fi­nal doc­u­ment has not been signed. If there is a rea­son the com­mis­sioner has for not sign­ing off on it, we can go back to the draw­ing board.”

DEEP-SEATED IS­SUES

How­ever, the PAAC mem­bers ar­gued that the lack of progress on the is­sue high­lighted that there are deep-seated is­sues be­tween the two en­ti­ties that need to be sorted out.

“Out in the pub­lic, it not look­ing good,” said Phillips. “What­ever the cause for the po­lice not to [sign], there needs to be in­ter­ven­tion. Ob­vi­ously, the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity it­self is not able to deal with the mat­ter as it needs to be dealt with.”

Diane McIn­tosh, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity, said the MOU would be signed soon.

WIL­LIAMS

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