Mark Shields won't renew contract with JCF

KARYL WALKER, Crime/court co-ordinator

Tuesday, November 18, 2008    

Print this page Email A Friend!

DEPUTY Commissioner Mark Shields' love affair with the Jamaican police has ended.

Shields, who was seconded to the Jamaica Constabulary Force from Scotland Yard in March 2005, has refused a new offer made to him by the Ministry of National Security. His four-year contract expires on February 28 next year.

The ministry confirmed in a release to the media yesterday that Shields has decided to throw in the towel.

"DCP Shields was offered a one-year extension but agreement was not reached regarding the terms and he has declined the offer," the release stated.

The revelation comes days after Police Commissioner Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin shielded his deputy from reporters' queries about whether he was about to renew his contract. Lewin told reporters that Shields would probably settle in Jamaica.

"Mark has fallen in love with Jamaica and this is most likely where he will settle," Lewin told reporters during a press conference last week.

Yesterday, a police source said Shields might have rejected the new contract because it contained a pay cut and would require him to give up command of the crime portfolio.

The security ministry said Shields' contribution to the fight against crime was being assessed.

"Appropriate steps are being taken to acknowledge DCP Shields' contribution to the JCF and to thank him for his service," the release said.

Shields first came to Jamaica as part of a Scotland Yard team hired to investigate the controversial killings of four persons, including two women, by the now defunct Crime Management Unit at Crawle in Clarendon in May 2004.

His tenure has been dogged by controversy as his local colleagues have often complained that Shields hogged media coverage and often led investigations into high-profile cases, such as that of former Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer, and social worker Vilma Mais, who was stabbed to death on the compound of the Stella Maris Church in St Andrew in 2006.

In September, Lewin was forced to apologise to Shields after a joint police/military team turned up with a search warrant at his Hacienda Way home in the upscale community of Norbrook, St Andrew. The cops were actually looking for the house of dancehall DJ Vybz Kartel, who was implicated in the murder of a political activist from West Kingston.

Last night, attempts to contact Shields were unsuccessful as his cellular phone rang unanswered.




Do you believe Dr Peter Phillips will be a better People's National Party (PNP) president than Portia Simpson Miller?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon