The Jamaica Constabulary Force notes with great concern, recent incidents in which detainees have escaped from police lockups.
As a modern Constabulary, we treat the integrity of our facilities and their capacity to securely detain criminal suspects as a matter of greatest importance to effective law enforcement. A high level investigation led by the Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau (IPROB) into the incidents is currently under way.
In relation to the specific matter of the escape of a detainee from the Central Lock-up on December 1, 2021, the JCF High Command can confirm that investigations continue, including with the aid of technology. While the internal investigation is still in the early stages, we can confirm that three JCF members who were on duty on the day in question have been placed on Interdiction. We can also confirm that a parallel criminal investigation into this incident has begun.
Additionally, eight other JCF members have been placed on Interdiction in relation to two other cases of escape that occurred in 2021.
Recent media publications have raised the question of whether JCF members have been compromised. As a matter of course, the current investigations under way will naturally probe all possible lines of inquiry. If there are persons who believe they have information that can assist the JCF in this regard, we urge them to call IPROB Tip Line at 876-838-3084
In addressing this matter, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, has made it clear the improved integrity of Police Lock-Ups is critical to the modernisation of the Constabulary. “We have sought to refurbish many police lock-ups across the country, because we treat this function of policing as being critical to improving our ability to keep people safe.”
Commissioner Anderson also emphasized that, while due process will be taken, there must be consequences for the recent escapes of detainees. “Let me make it abundantly clear to the public and to the men and women I lead that this is a matter of accountability that I take very seriously. When people, through negligence or unprofessionalism cause the name of the JCF to be tarnished, there must be consequences,” he said.
Since the start of 2021, there have been eight incidents of detainees escaping from police. Of those incidents, four investigations are far advanced and are the subject of Administrative processes. IPROB Investigations continue into the other four matters and updates will be provided at an appropriate time.