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Gov't should foot legal fees if INDECOM goes to Privy Council — Police Federation

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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ST ANN, Jamaica — Sergeant Cecil McCalla, outgoing chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, has warned Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang that legal fees for the case the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) intends to take the Privy Council will fall in his lap.

Following a ruling by the Court of Appeal that the commission does not have the power, under the INDECOM Act, to arrest, charge or prosecute any member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) or any other person, INDECOM indicated it may be going to the Judicial Committee of The Privy Council in London.

Sergeant McCalla, while addressing the 75th annual joint central conference of the Police Federation in Ocho Rios yesterday, said the police federation, the Police Officers' Association and the District Constable Association covered the past legal fees, which was very expensive for the organisations.

“This time around minister, this one is on you,” he stated.

While the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) celebrates the landmark ruling made against INDECOM, McCalla has called on members of the JCF to carry out their duties effectively so they can put INDECOM out of business.

“Let us collectively put INDECOM out of business — not in a bad way — [but] by being so professional when carrying out our duties, by being so careful in constructing our statements and our reports. Don't leave any loopholes for you to be charged… because investigators of INDECOM are earning more than my good detectives,” he said to loud cheers from the delegates.

McCalla said the police had no problems with having an oversight body or with INDECOM because all the reports the organisation has submitted to Parliament has portrayed the JCF positively.

However, he said the perception out there of a bad wicked police force is not a reality.

He charged delegates to let members of the JCF Know that their work is appreciated.

“Convey to them how grateful we are for us as an organisation to be operating with a 19th century infrastructure fighting 21st century crimes, convey to them how grateful we are for the hard work and commitment that they are out there putting in to preserve the lives of people in this country. I remind us also that police lives matter also,” McCalla said. Renae Dixon

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