First Look

Investigations increase 92 percent at INDECOM

INDECOM | 2012-01-10 14:39:00

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) continues to play an important role in ensuring accountability in the Security Forces’ use of force, with a 92 percent increase in cases under investigation.

The total number of cases under investigation by INDECOM reached 724 in the past year, an increase of 347 when compared with 2010. 

One Hundred and Ninety (190) new fatalities were investigated in 2011. This is based on our records but official police figures may indicate a higher number of fatalities (just over 200). This difference is due to the non-reporting of some incidents earlier in the year. INDECOM is currently taking over these previously non-reported investigations from the Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI).
Commissioner Williams points out that “the Commission continues face a number of impediments as it relates to us effectively and efficiently executing our function”. A key impediment to the work of the Commission is the slow pace at which ballistic and forensic submissions to the Forensic Laboratory are processed. As a result, a significant number of cases cannot be completed. 
Further, the Commissioner has exhorted the investigative staff to be mindful of their duty to do all within their power to complete investigations in a timely manner.
Despite these challenges, however, INDECOM moved apace with the disposal of several cases that it had under investigation. Last year, a total of 92 cases were disposed of in a variety of ways. A total of 27 cases were closed by way of a Commission’s Report – the method by which cases are officially closed by INDECOM. The Report is issued to the complainant, the concerned officer, the Commissioner of Police or other head of the Security Forces. Of the cases disposed of, 18 members of the security forces were charged or referred for charging to the Bureau of Special Investigations. Two cases were referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for ruling, 16 cases were referred to the Commissioner of Police for disciplinary action or departmental inquiry and 16 cases could not be substantiated. Another 10 cases were referred for a Coroner’s Inquest and in three cases there was an informal resolution. 

Posted By :Kahmile Ried

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