The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is a Commission of Parliament, governed by the INDECOM Act. The Act was passed on April 15, 2010 and the Commission began operation on August 16, 2010. The INDECOM Act repealed the Police Public Complaints Act that established the Police Complaints Authority (PPCA); which was a civilian body established to probe allegations against members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
INDECOM, is a civilian staffed state agency tasked to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the Security Forces and other Agents of the State that result in death or injury to persons or the abuse of the rights of persons; and for connected matters. The members of the Security Forces and other Agents of the State for which INDECOM provides oversight include:
- Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)
- District Constables
- Jamaica Defence Force (JDF)
- Correctional officers at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS)
INDECOM is headed by a Commissioner, who is appointed by the Governor-General, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, from persons of high integrity, who possess the qualifications to hold office as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica. The Commissioner shall hold office for a period of five years and may be re-appointed for periods not exceeding five years at a time. The Commissioner is assisted by an Assistant Commissioner and Directors of Complaints who have responsibility for a region. The four regions are: Eastern (Kingston and St. Andrew, Portland, St. Thomas), South Eastern (St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. Ann), Central (Manchester, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, St. Ann) and Western (St. Ann, Trelawny, St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland).
The INDECOM Act prescribes procedures for members of the public to make complaints to the Commission regarding incidents of misconduct; and methods of handling complaints. Complaints made to INDECOM can be resolved by way of recommendations for: Charge, Disciplinary Action, No charge or disciplinary action or recommendation for procedural changes. Complaints can also be resolved informally, on initial intervention by informal resolution or withdrawal.
The INDECOM Act stipulates that an incident of misconduct by a member of the Security Forces or of a specified official includes, an occurrence which:
- Results in the death of, or injury to, any person or that was intended or likely to result in the death of, or injury to any persons
- Involves sexual assault
- Involves assault or battery
- Results in the damage to property or the taking of money or other property
- In the opinion of the Commission (not listed above) is an abuse of the rights of a citizen
INDECOM investigates 24 different categories of abuse:
|Abuse of office||Arson||Assault|
|Breach of INDECOM Act||Corruption||Death in Custody|
|Destruction of property||Discharge of firearm||Illegal entry|
|Illegal search||Fatal incident||Misappropriation of property|
|Neglect of duty||Perversion of justice||Rape|
|Road death/collision||Seizure of property||Sexual harassment|
|Shooting injury||Threat||Unduly long detention|
|Unlawful detention||Unlawful wounding||Unprofessional conduct|
The Commission is funded by Government of Jamaica (GoJ) from the Consolidated Fund. It also receives support from international partners such as: Department for International Development (DFID), United States Department International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), European Union (EU) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
A grounded culture of accountability for the State’s use of force
Effective and independent investigations of the State’s use of force in a way that: promotes accountability, Fosters respect for human rights, and earns the confidence of citizens and agents of the State.