JCF accepts report of West Kingston Commission, says Quallo

Accused officers no longer in operational roles

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Commissioner of Police George Quallo has asserted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), “as an arm of the State”, accepts the report of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.

According to a release from the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Quallo made the comments during a meeting with National Security Minister Robert Montague yesterday.

CCU said the meeting was intended to discuss concerns about the report of the Administrative Review Committee, which was appointed to review the conduct of JCF named officers during the 2010 West Kingston Operation.

Quallo said that it must never be construed that the police and the State are not in unison, adding that the JCF stands ready to accept fully the responsibly of its actions.

The recently appointed police commissioner noted that the report of the West Kingston Commission made a number of recommendations, including that of an administrative review, which was carried out comprising a panel of two custodes, a retired Director of Public Prosecutions, a university lecturer, and a then Assistant Commissioner of Police. He said the administrative review, which contains eight recommendations, has been forwarded to the Police Services Commission.

The meeting comes after concern from several quarters including civil society was raised about the administrative review that cleared five police officers from damning accusations of misconduct made in the West Kingston Enquiry report.

The administrative review also found there was no reasons the named officers should not be allowed to continue to serve in their various capacities in the JCF.

However, Quallo said, in yesterday's release, that the five named police officers, ACP Donovan Graham, Superintendent Everton Tabannah, Inspector Mario Pratt, and Sergeant Steve Waugh are no longer working in operational roles. The fifth named officer, Assistant Commissioner Winchroy Budhoo passed on earlier this year.

Quallo said he recognises the concerns of the public and will not seek to diminish the legitimate expectation of every human being to the right to life. He went on further to reassure the public that he along with the JCF team will work assiduously to rebuild public trust and confidence.

The commissioner said that while he waits for the review of the Police Services Commision, he has started to implement some of the recommendations in the interest of the JCF and citizens at large, including:
- The wearing of body cameras
- Specialised joint training in human and constitutional rights
- Meticulous keeping of records, which has resulted in the development of an App by the JCF
- Recording the ballistic signature of weapons in the JCF is almost completed.

Quallo said the JCF has been carefully and strictly observing human and constitutional rights. He noted that this topic, which has been a part of the training curriculum at the National Police College, has been revamped and repackaged to ensure compliance.

Personnel receive regular daily radio broadcasts reminding them to adhere to the Use of Force and Human Rights Policy, and the JCF has implemented the use of less-lethal weapons in its daily operations, the commissioner said.

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