Justice Minister Emphasises Importance of Principled Policing

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck (right), is greeted by former Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin (Rtd) (left), at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) Annual Commissioner’s Forum, held at the Ministry of Justice in Kingston, on August 16.

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says combining the concept of principled policing with the practice of restorative justice, can help to reduce acts of misconduct by State agents, such as the police.

The Minister notes that this can be done through an analysis and adoption of the main goals of restorative justice.

Some of these include the culture of peace that restorative justice creates through effective processes that emphasise the value of mutual respect; the empowerment of individuals, groups and communities to respond in a positive manner to crime and wrongdoing; the harm offenders cause; and the reduction of criminal case backlog from the formal justice system, among others.

Mr. Chuck was delivering an address at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) annual Commissioner’s forum, held at the Justice Ministry in Kingston, on August 16.

The forum was held under the theme ‘Promoting Principled Policing’, and is part of the Commission’s sixth anniversary celebrations.

Mr. Chuck argued that principled policing must be aimed at assisting the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with reducing the incidence of conflict between themselves and the citizenry.

“The police benefit from employing this concept. It enhances the safety of police officers and fosters an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect between the police and the people they serve,” he said.

The Minister emphasised that INDECOM has a role to ensure that the police adhere to the goals of this kind of policing.

“There should be a constant reminder to the police of their duty to build relationships of trust and confidence with the communities in which they operate,” he said.

He also argued that INDECOM should ensure that the JCF “employ the concept of principled policing in order to ensure sustainability of the concept”.

Mr. Chuck pointed out that one way in which this can be done is for INDECOM to facilitate training of policemen and policewomen in the concept.

“This will go a far way in furthering INDECOM’s mandate, rather than undertaking investigations into alleged misconduct (of security force members),” he said.

Meanwhile, INDECOM Commissioner, Terence Williams, said the forum was held with the purpose of evoking discussion on the subject matter.

Mr. Williams informed that a town hall meeting will be held in Savanna-la-Mar on August 18 where persons will be able to voice their views on topics such as police reform, INDECOM and issues of justice in Jamaica.

By Chad Bryan 

Source: Jamaica Information Service