Letters to the Editor

Minimum police response times should be standard procedure

Thursday, December 05, 2013    

Print this page Email A Friend!


Dear Editor,

In the aftermath of last week's tragic incident in St Elizabeth, in which a teenager was allegedly killed by her child's father, the time has come for the police high command to establish minimum guidelines for response time for our law enforcement officers. While this occurs in other jurisdictions, Jamaica is once again lagging behind where this is concern. This guideline should be for all police stations across the length and breadth of the island, regardless of location.

I am very much aware that staffing the police force is extremely challenging, more so in this period of recession and financial constraint. However, it is very clear that we must find additional resources to adequately equip our police officers in order for them to do their job. It is only after this has been done that we can hold them fully accountable for not responding promptly. Minimum response times should become a part of standard operational procedures and should be a part of the curriculum at the police training college. It cannot be business as per usual!

Whether someone had just broke into our home, or whether someone has threatened you or your family member, the first instinct is to call the police for help. It cannot be that in your time of need as a law-abiding citizen the police is not in a position to assist because their vehicle is being used to transport prisoners.

Too often we hear of reports of individuals requesting assistance from the police only to be told that no vehicles are available, or worse yet no petrol is available for the vehicle. This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated anymore.

Who knows, maybe the outcome in St Elizabeth could have been different had the Nain police been able to respond to the call from the deceased grandmother for help. According the grandmother, she called both the Nain and Alligator Pond police stations, repeatedly, for assistance. Obviously too much time was allowed to pass before the police finally arrived on the scene. This crime was probably preventable.

The principle of community policing will not be served if our police officers are not viewed favourably by the communities in which they serve. Effective policing is not only about increasing the number of policemen and men in the force; it is also about facilitating them to effectively respond to the needs of the citizenry in a timely and professional manner.

It is commendable that the Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington has launched an investigation into the matter. Let us use this most regrettable experience to put some corrective measures in place so as not to have a repeat of this most unfortunate incident.

Wayne Campbell

waykam@yahoo.com

www.wayaine.blogspot.com

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

If you found $10 million in the street would you return it to the owner?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT