Cops causing crime - Ex-policeman insists

Ex-cop, now publisher/editor cites INDECOM as a hindrance

BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 03, 2016

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SUNRISE, Florida — Bevan Earle, one of Jamaica’s renowned crime fighters in the 1980s, believes that corrupt police personnel in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are making a significant contribution to the island’s worrying crime problem.


"Nowadays I strongly believe — although I don’t have the hard evidence — that policemen are involved in a lot of criminal activities. There is no doubt about that," said Earle, during an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer here last week.


Earle, who emigrated to south Florida in 1989 after serving the force for 18 years, and having reached the rank of acting corporal, argued too that in recent years there has been a tremendous breakdown in discipline within the organisation.


"Some of the persons in the force now are very dishonest; they are not as loyal as they used to be. In my time in the JCF, we used to be satisfied with the little salary that we were getting; we never hold down people and take away their money, or rob persons of other things," he pointed out.


A publisher/editor of the south Florida-based Caribbean Voice newspaper and host of his own talk show, Hot Talk for more than two decades — aired on WAVS 1170 FM Radio transmitting from South Florida — Earle noted, however, that there are "good cops and bad cops" in the JCF.


He stressed, though, that one bad cop could tarnish the reputation of the entire force.


In recent years, several policemen have been arrested and charged with various crimes, including murder, shooting with intent, and for alleged involvement in the drug trade.


Earle said that ways must be found to root out the "bad cops", whom he argued are destroying the reputation of the JCF.


A no-nonsense cop during his time in the force, Earle, then popularly known then as ‘Felt Hat’, drove fear into the hearts of criminals, yet had an excellent relationship with law-abiding citizens, many of whom never waivered in telling him what they knew.


His journey as a policeman preceded five years as a soldier in the Jamaica Defence Force.


He started his career in the JCF serving in the Mobile Reserve, then was transferred to Spanish Town, and later to Montego Bay.


He also served in Trelawny and St Mary.


And while Earle believes that there should be an oversight body for the JCF, he argued that he is unhappy about how the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), is carrying out its duties.


"INDECOM is a hindrance to the police force because policemen are now scared to carry out their duties because they are always under the microscope," he argued.


"You have to understand that policemen are always the target. The criminal out there don’t have to wait on anything to kill a policeman, but the policeman has to wait until he (the criminal) attacks, before he decides whether he is going to use deadly force or not…. so if he (policeman) waits until the criminal attacks then he might be a dead man," Earle stated.


He said, as it is now, it appears that the leadership of INDECOM has "something deliberate against policemen".


He argued, too, that politicians should desist from meddling in the affairs of the JCF.

 


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