Policing? What policing? The loss of integrity and professionalism

I had one of those ‘I’m mad as Hell, and I can’t take it anymore’ moments, yesterday, that are all too common in Jamaica, and wrote the following letter to the Editors of Jamaica Observer and Gleaner. The Observer published if today, and I’ll see if The Gleaner follows suit.

I omitted from my letter the police response on the rape debacle that they had no established protocol for transporting prisoners. Many were quick to say, protocol or not, there is ‘common sense’ and ‘decency’. Someone asked me last night, whether or not the transporting of the victim and accused may taint the case, in the event of an identity parade.

No sooner had I read my letter, than I read another story in today’s papers of how police bungling is causing more grief, this time because two police divisions could not decide which of them should be responsible for a murder scene, taking some 8 hours to make that decision before the body could be cleared. Read the report here.

Many people aren’t looking for the police to solve crimes and right all of society’s ills, but look to them to show a certain degree of integrity and professionalism that would give confidence that matters will be handled well. That lack of integrity and professionalism is something that no amount of words from police ‘high command’ seems able to change.

The police seem resistant to outside forces of change. By that, I mean the attitude to oversight is unashamedly hostile. Yet, the reason for that need–the many and disturbing cases of police misconduct–dont seem to be addressed in other ways.

People have in their sights an escalating murder rate, but my concern is that the many little things that the police are supposed to do daily and in dealing with a wide range of matters of public order keep showing them up to be less than competent.  For an economist, it would be an easy thing to argue the the function of policing ought to be taken away from the body that is now in charge of it.

Governments, rightly, are wary of tampering with police powers, but at some stage, with any organization, one has to ask if the present set-up can take you where you want to go.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

4 thoughts on “Policing? What policing? The loss of integrity and professionalism”

  1. I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the article you submitted to the Daily Observer today, Wednesday, December 07, 2016.

    I am particularly appreciative of the paragraph that mentioned the injustice and humiliation of the 14-year old girl, and the ineptitude of the Police in handling this matter.

    I was appalled as I read the article yesterday and felt crestfallen at the failure of the Police to protect the (innocent) victim.

    at the point of this email, there has been no other article or mention of this, which unnerves me even more.

    Perhaps, like myself, others are ‘waiting to read’ instead of actually writing an article to respond to same.

    Despite this truth, THANK YOU for your honest and tenacious expressions.

    I am not related to the victim but I am a zealot at heart for the protection and preservation of the innocence of our children.

    I do know how much the psychological impact can churn lasting physical pain.

    I hope and pray that she receives protection, support, love and counselling, as that is the only way to begin coping and healing.



  2. Our Criminal Justice system has been so corrupted it’s safe to say Lady Justice is anything but blind!! It is time we stand together and demand our public officials are held to the highest standards!

    Liked by 1 person

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