... Ellington warns cops
POLICE Commissioner Owen Ellington has warned members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) that they will face disciplinary action if they turn away or redirect persons who want to make reports to police stations.
In a release Friday, Ellington bemoaned the litany of complaints from citizens about the police across the island.
"Recently, there have been many reports of citizens being turned away by police personnel and being told to visit or call other stations or other police offices because these reports are being made at the 'wrong' station. This practice is incorrect and every effort will be made, through training and sensitisation, to educate members of the JCF and its auxiliaries as to the proper and correct procedures to follow when dealing with reports from citizens," Ellington said.
The commissioner's remarks comes on the heels of complaints following an incident in Bryan's Hill, Clarendon where ex-soldier Wilbert Pryce who allegedly shot his mother in law, 45-year-old Maxine Fearon dead, injured his wife and mother of his two children and raped another woman in a nearby district in the parish.
Fearon's husband, who was also allegedly attacked by the ex-military man, complained to the media that he had been desperately trying to get assistance from the police for more than an hour but was not given a satisfactory response.
Fearon, also said if the police had heeded his cries for help, the life of his wife would have been spared and his daughter would not have been shot multiple times, allegedly by the ex-soldier.
"I want to be very clear and this is the main message being transmitted to all members: there is one police jurisdiction and that jurisdiction is Jamaica," the commissioner said.
He said incidents of non-responsiveness by the police were being investigated and corrective measures implemented to ensure that the police do their duty without fear of favour.
The measures include:
* A directive to all commanding officers and station supervisors to promulgate and bring to the attention of all members under their command, by way of lectures over the next four weeks, the protocols associated with the treatment of citizens' reports;
* A directive that proactive messages dealing with the protocols associated with the treatment of citizens' reports are broadcast at timely intervals covering all shifts over the police radio network to keep in focus the importance of this particular matter;
* A directive that at all levels of training — recruitment, in-service and staff college — courses on client care and proper responses must be enhanced and reinforced; and
* A directive to the inspectorate of the constabulary to robustly investigate every instance of failure by the police to properly treat with and the appropriate action/s taken in response to reports made by citizens with a view of possible dismissal.
"I want to re-emphasise that no citizen making a crime report, a report of any offence or a request for any kind of police service at a police station or by telephone should be re-directed to another police station or office," he said.
Ellington also warned his officers hat citizens making reports at any police station must receive a receipt from the officer taking the report.
"Citizens who have been turned away at any police station may ask to speak to the sub-officer in charge of the station. If there is no change in the situation or satisfaction, citizens can then speak or write to the officer in charge of the police division concerned or call the senior duty officer at the police headquarters' Command and Control Centre at 927- 4216," he said.