Government To Amend INDECOM

After much embarrassment to the police watchdog body, the Holness led JLP administration has finally bowed to pressure to enact the additional legislation to give more powers to INDECOM.  
Powers Of Arrest 
The court ruled that INDECOMZ as a body corporate does not have the powers of arrest.  It can only arrest at common law as individuals in their private capacity as say a private citizen.
The absence of these powers have meant that the powerful Police Federation (union that advocates for and on behalf of the police below the rank of inspector) has taken their Watchdog to court and received ruling that said inter alia, INDECOM has no powers of arrest if and when it uncovers or finds instances of gross police misconduct like wrongful or suspicious shootings or God forbid extrajudicial killings.  Lacking this power of arrest virtually renders INDECOM toothless and most like a dog who barks loudly but ca not bite.
In his Throne Speech today Sir Patrick Allen, at the ceremonial opening of Parliament, as the Governor General on behalf of the JLP led government has signal their intention through his Excellency that they will table and enact such a legislation in the next session of Patliament.  This is the start  of a new legislative year.
We at Vision have repeatedly called for this amendment to the INDECOM Act, to give INDECOM more powers.  It is our view that it was originally meant for this to be so. Our calls have obviously not fallen on deaf ears.  We have been strident in our relentless campaign to have this amendment, which is long overdue … to be enacted. We are delighted at this new development.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Vision’s Senior International Correspondent in the Caribbean.

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