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Commish defends stewardship after calls for him to resign
2012-09-07 17:15:44 | (0 Comments)
Police Commissioner Owen Ellington has responded to the call by the People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) for him to resign saying he has been keen to discharge his responsibilities.
Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington - File
The PNPYO made the call for Ellington to resign amid what it said was an increase in the number of extra-judicial killings by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The call coincided with the public outrage following the police killing of pregnant woman Kay-Ann Lamont and the injury of her sister during a confrontation in St Thomas.
In a statement released this afternoon, the commissioner said he fully appreciates that individuals and groups have a right to question every instance in which the police use deadly force.
He also said he recognises their right to demand accountability from the leadership of the Force in instances where it appears that the use of force was unjustified, unlawful or out of proportion.
“Indeed, as Commissioner, I take full responsibility for the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that (the) police use of force accords with citizens’ rights and expectations,” Ellington said.
“I have been very keen to discharge such responsibility.”
Ellington listed several initiatives on which the force has embarked including the listing of the upholding of human rights as one of the strategic priorities of the JCF.
He says reminders are also routinely given by 119 dispatchers to responding teams on measures to minimize the use of force and protect citizens.
According to Ellington, between May 1 and September 3, 2012, some 58,082 radio messages and acknowledgements were transmitted over the radio network, either directly addressing use of force issues or referencing them in other police/citizen interactions.
“The records will show that fatal shootings by the police have been in decline in recent years,” said Ellington.
He says for 2012 there has been a decline, which if it holds, could see this year ending with the lowest figure in seven years.
Fatal shootings by the police since 2006
2012-141 (up to September)
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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