District constables want amendments to District Constable Act
THE United District Constable Association (UDCA), a group representing some 1,600 DCs across the island, has issued a call for the powers that be to place greater urgency on discussions to amend the District Constable Act.
President of the UDCA Delroy Davis said last week that under the current Act, district constables (CDs)were being marginalised and deprived of certain benefits that other members in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were afforded.
"Under the current Act, DCs are not afforded pensions and other benefits and this is something that has to be addressed. The current Act needs to be amended to reflect what is happening in today's society," said Davis.
He was speaking to the Observer after a ceremony where over 60 DCs graduated from the Police Academy at Twickenham Park, St Catherine. The group was the first batch of DCs to graduate for 2010.
"It is not fair. Can you imagine that under the current Act, a district constable can give most of his life working to help his country and if he retires or leaves the job tomorrow there are no benefits for him to receive?" asked one DC.
Davis said that in recent months a new thrust by the Jamaica Constabulary Force to streamline the operations of DCs across the island has been bearing fruit but there was more to be done.
According to Winston Holness, senior instructor at the Police Academy, under the new drive, DCs were now being required to wear special uniforms. This, Holness said, was a first in the JCF.
Holness said the group was now also required to undergo training at the academic level and not only at the station level.
Holness said this was all part of the drive by the JCF to recruit more district constables across the island.
DCs provide support to the JCF at the community level, including taking of statements and reports in criminal matters.