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HomeNewsRegional NewsJamaica - Former police chief wants 'clean sweep' of criminals in constabulary

Jamaica – Former police chief wants ‘clean sweep’ of criminals in constabulary

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BY ALICIA DUNKLEY WILLIS

Jamaica (Jamaica Observer) – REAR Admiral Hardley Lewin, a former commissioner of police, who also served as chief of staff of the Jamaica Defence Force, said “it is no secret that there are criminals in the constabulary force”, and called Wednesday for a “clean sweep”, following last Friday’s arrest of four cops suspected of being gang members.

“From the recent incident, my takeaway from it is a positive one because it is no secret that there are criminals in the force, they did not join as criminals, they morphed,” Lewin told Wednesday’s launch of the Annual State of Justice Report at the Jamaica Pegasus in St Andrew.

According to the former police chief, he had long indicated the state of affairs in the police force, but had been lambasted for doing so.

“I addressed the Jamaica Employers Federation in 2008, and I said emphatically that there are criminals in the force, and I was pilloried and harangued by all sorts of people, but I didn’t relent. My takeaway from this incident is a positive one: discover them, clean them out, and clear them out,” he said emphatically.

The Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations (C-TOC) Branch of the constabulary on Friday announced the arrest of four constables suspected of being members of the Clarendon-based Ronko Gang.

The criminal outfit is also said to be headed by a police constable, who was arrested on a previous occasion.

Lewin, who made his remarks while commenting on the issue of the police being empowered to investigate their own through bodies such as the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), had prefaced his declaration by saying, “An individual who has the powers of a constable is amongst the most powerful persons in Jamaica. A criminal who has the powers of a constable is amongst the most dangerous persons in Jamaica.”

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