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3.6. Roadmap to Making the Police More Effective

3.6.1. The Police appears to have not benefited sufficiently from the numerous reports, reviews and plans that have been published over the past twenty years.  The levels of distrust by the public, corruption (political and otherwise) and ineffectiveness are unacceptable.

3.6.2. Some of the key signposts on this roadmap are:

Action: Depolitizing the Police – The appointment of the Police Service Commission. All appointments to the Police Service Commission must be agreed on by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.  In the event that they fail to agree, then the Governor General should make an appropriate decision in the interest of Jamaica. Chapter 5, Recommendation 7 of the Wolfe Report of 1993 is instructive in this matter.

Justification: Currently by the Constitution, the Police Service Commission is appointed by His Excellency the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.  However, in recent years there has been a bi-partisan approach in which the Leader of the Opposition is simply consulted and submits a number of names to the Prime Minister for approval.  This is most unsatisfactory.  The point is to ensure that undue political considerations do not influence the appointment of Commissioners.

Action: Depoliticising the Police – The appointment of the Commissioner of Police. The appointment of the Commissioner of Police must be made on merit by the GG on the advice of the Police Service Commission with no input from the Hon. Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition. This should be done after public hearings in Parliament.  Chapter 5, Recommendation 7.3 of the Wolfe Report of 1993 is instructive in this matter.

Justification: It ought to ensure more rigorous application of the merit principle and therefore the appointment of competent Commissioners.

Action: The Police Service Commission to have greater management authority. The functions of the Police Oversight Authority and the Police Service Commission must be amalgamated, and the Commissioner of Police be made to do an annual report on the performance of the Police Force.  This report is to be for the Police Service Commission (PSC), and a copy laid in Parliament.

Justification: This would ensure more effective oversight of the police services.

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