HERMANGILD Francis, Minister for Home affairs, Justice and National Security at a pre-cabinet meeting held on Monday August 5th stated that he wants the kind of policing “that will take care of all sorts of corruption in our country.” One of the methods which has been implemented to achieve this end was the dispatch of police officers to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the purpose of overseeing investigations which involve the police.
The Minister for National Security assented to the need for the establishment of an independent police department which is responsible not only for investigating police officers, but also to investigate civil servants who abuse their authority, as well as corruption among politicians.
As far as the IMPACS Report is concerned however, Francis stated, “The Government has done everything in its power to deal with the IMPACS Report and other matters. We are not going to be doing like other persons to go and get involved in the DPP’s work. The DPP is independent; the constitution gives him that right and all we can do is to speak to him, explain to him and make him understand how important it is to get to the end of some of these matters.” The Minister for National Security admitted that it was time for a number of these matters to be resolved.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, who was also present at the pre-cabinet meeting, stated, “We want to be able to resolve IMPACS, I have made a promise that we will put together a special task force to be able to look into the IMPACS Report.” The Prime Minister admitted however that a task force would not resolve the issue because the evidence was in Jamaica, there was no verification of the reports, and there was no DPP at that time. According to Chastanet, when Daarsrean Greene accepted the position of Director of Public Persecutions, “I gave him the opportunity to go and evaluate the situation himself to determine whether in fact he feels he can resolve it [IMPACS] or not; he felt he could resolve it. We’ve been working with the Government of Jamaica, we’ve gotten part of the evidence, we’re waiting to collect the remaining part of the evidence and investigations are taking place.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister declared that his Government is determined to address the problems which gave rise to the IMPACS Report in the first place, proclaiming that it was the “lack of a good administrative system” (which was “too loose”), which caused the IMPACS situation. He said that he cannot change the circumstances which caused IMPACS, but he can take the necessary steps to ensure that it is not repeated in the future.
Chastanet said that he was aware of the impediments which affected the duties and the morale of police officers who were entangled with IMPACS. “I am completely cognisant of the officers that are involved in the IMPACS and how difficult it must be for them,” Chastanet said, adding that he has had discussions with the Commissioner of Police, the DPP and the AG’s Office in order to find a solution for the difficulties endured by the police officers involved in the IMPACS Report. Some of the difficulties that these officers face, according to the Prime Minister, include prohibitions from certain police departments and the general feeling of distrust which hinders their productive interaction with other police officers. This, the Prime Minister said, was not a healthy situation for the police. Chastanet vowed to resolve the issue.
In regards to the IMPACS Report, the Prime Minister concluded by saying, “At no point have we made this less of a priority today than when we were in opposition.”