November 25, 2019 – The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) responds to the press release of the Police Federation dated Monday, November 25, 2019, titled, “Utilize your training, we will stand by our members, says the Police Federation”.
The Commission has made no public observation with regard to any recent videos being circulated in which members of the JCF have been involved. INDECOM fully supports the principle that “members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force have a sworn duty to maintain law and order and must be allowed to carry out their functions without interference.”
JCF members should recognize that INDECOM has consistently supported and advocated for the JCF’s correct, proportionate and lawful use of force in executing their duties. The members should recall that in our 1st Quarterly Report for 2018 to Parliament, on the subject of assaults, we specifically reported that “citizens are urged to comply with an officer’s lawful directions or instructions …” and we further added that “there is a civic duty to adhere to the lawful instructions of police officers and INDECOM’s view is that an approach which the public should adopt is one of comply and [then] complain, this is preferred to resistance and potential conflict.”
Officers should be conducting themselves in such a manner that they have no cause to fear any independent oversight of their actions. The observation by the Jamaica Police Federation that members of the JCF are submitting themselves to abuse and assault from members of the public in order to avoid any potential complaint as to their correct enforcement or self defence is concerning, not recommended and unwise.
An individual officer’s decision to secure a lawyer for any matter, is a personal choice and not a requirement for our investigations.