Holness says Gov't looking at review of INDECOM Act

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Holness says Gov't looking at review of INDECOM Act

Friday, June 16, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated a need to review the laws under which the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) operates.

Speaking at yesterday's opening ceremony for the multilateral summit on 'Combating Crime in an Interconnected World', at the Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston, the prime minister said that his Government had to find a way to strike a balance to ensure that the police are motivated, and that criminals don't feel that they can use existing laws as a way to protect themselves.

"Laws protect the innocent, laws must protect human rights, laws must never be in such a way that they can be used as a tool to protect criminals," he said.

The summit was attended by well-known crime fighters from across the region, including former New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly, and security and international cooperation advisor from Colombia, General Rosso Jose Serrano.

"We know that there are some very hardened criminals in our society, and they act in ways that confound us. The level of savagery that we see, sometimes we wonder where is the humanity. This state cannot sit by and allow this to continue. It erodes confidence. It creates a negative outlook," Holness said.

"The State has to act, while we recognise the errors of the past. The State has to be focused, and targeted and strategic and driven by intelligence on the perpetrators," he added.

He said the Government did not want to pull back on INDECOM, but clearly the commission and the legislation under which it operates needs to be reviewed, like any other new legislation, to ensure that it is not an obstacle to law enforcement.

"So, striking that balance is another political challenge that we have to address," Holness said.

"We have to find a way to ensure that our police are motivated, that they are willing to go out there without worry that after they try to do the right thing, they end up on the wrong side of the law," he stated.

Balford Henry

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