Why have our crime fighting efforts paid so little dividend?

In business one of the favorite buzzwords especially when new management takes over is “low hanging fruit”.  The idea is you go after these things that are considered easy to do, cost very little in most cases, but give big returns.

Just recently the former government and then the JLP decided that the best way to spend money, is to provide cops with body camera. Why would a country with such little resources to address crime seek to fit cops with body cams, what benefit can we expect to get from such expenditures and how will this aid the crime fighting effort.

Part of the reason our “efforts” leads so little reward, is our resources are far too often directed in the wrong areas, with very little critical analysis being done, or it is ignored when done to satisfy someone’s ego.

The present Minister of Security Bobby Montague, will fail like the many others before him, because he has no plan or is likely to use old existing plans which have proven to be major failures.

We speak about fixing the justice, system but what does that mean, that is too broad a term to get to the real problems that needs to be fixed.

Firstly the entire structure of the police force does not lend itself to effectively fighting crime, so right away we begin the process on the wrong foot.

There has been talk of strategic reform of the police force, but this will not be supported by the higher echelon of the force, why. Well if I joined the force  at 18 and have worked my way up, earned one or two degrees on the way, I want a chance to be ACP, DCP or COP, so hell no, i will now support any move to rob me of that opportunity , I simply will not.

If the top members of an organization have no interest in the re-engineering of the organization for their own selfish reason, it will never happen and that is where the JCF has found itself. No one who comes up the rank in the JCF will ever be able to bring about real change, so we are virtually ” dead in the water”, or are we?

The entire JCF needs to be dismantled and a new organization formed along these lines.

  1. We have three counties and therefore need a Deputy Commissioner of police for  each county.
  2. Each of these DCP’s report to the COP
  3. Below these you have a single Superintendent of police for each parish in these counties.
  4. Everyone else is a either a detective or an officer,whose pay will be based on years of performance and years of service.
  5. All new persons entering the JCF must be given a minimum of 18 months training in law enforcement activities, after which the spend  another 18 months of specialized training in some of the following areas.
    1. Crime scene containment and protection.
    2. Forensics science, how evidence gathering can contaminate the very evidence you are collecting.
    3. Ballistics science, gun firing and testing, projectile angle to determine position of shooter with respect to the victim.
    4.  Front line detective work.
    5. Domestic affairs management, how to deal with domestic matters.
    6. Traffic , rules regulation and enforcement
    7. Building a dossier to bring case to court , what evidence must be gathered, how it must be gathered.
    8. Witness interrogation without badgering the witness. How to make witness comfortable to speak.
    9. Confidentially , how to protect witness and witness statement from possible compromise. Video taping of witness statement and protection of such evidence .
    10. Wire tapping, do’s and don’t.
    11. Surveillance without detection.
    12. How to investigate alleged acts of corruption within and external to the force.
    13. How to conduct high profile investigation before making an arrest and or going public
    14. Interacting with members of the public, community policing
    15. Riots  etc, how to act and react
    16. Hostage situation, open or in a confined space
    17. Special Weapons and Tactical Team

We can no longer have a police unit that is so hierarchical in structure that nothing gets done as people jostle for positions . We need to flatten the structure and broaden the skills through training.

When a cop leaves the training school, not only will he/she have the basic rudimentary training , but they will come out will some specialized skills to address the various needs of the Jamaica society .

This transformation is a must along with a name change if our security forces are to gain any success in addressing various crime matters in the country.

More to come…

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One Response

  1. Whilst there are some salient points raised, please be advised that areas identified are areas in which all recruitsvare trained either during actual training or on the job. Training is constant. Some points raised in your article have been proposed and visited hence a revisit of the Constabulary Force Act.

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