Tue | Jun 2, 2020

INDECOM wants inclusion in exemption from COVID curfew order

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2020 | 3:16 PM

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) says it is concerned that it was not included in the exemption list under the new COVID-19 curfew orders and is calling for the government to fix it.

The order for the seven-day nightly curfew was gazetted on Tuesday and the measure took effect last night, running from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

In a statement this afternoon, an INDECOM spokesperson indicated that the oversight body has written to the Minister of National Security, seeking approval by Cabinet, as an exempted service or activity under the order.

So far, the investigative agency has not received a favourable response, according to the spokesperson.

INDECOM is empowered under by law to provide independent oversight of the activities of the security forces and has a 24-hour scene response function to attend fatal and non-fatal shooting incidents.

The spokesperson contends that the non-inclusion of INDECOM Response Team will negatively impact the oversight of law enforcement requirements.

“Last month, of the five fatal and 11 non-fatal shooting incidents responded to by INDECOM, 70% would have resulted in the commission being unable to attend the scenes as they would have breached the curfew hours.

“INDECOM’s inability to promptly respond and process an incident scene would hamper an independent investigation and weaken its adequacy and effectiveness,” the spokesperson argued.

It was argued that citizen reassurance across all sectors is critical, especially during times of a global crisis such as this COVID-19 virus.

“Curfew impositions are necessary and fully understood, but INDECOM’s remit also provides community reassurance in this difficult time where the risk of citizens’ rights are further limited,” the spokesperson said.

How to report an incident to INDECOM

INDECOM encourages citizens to make their initial reports via the INDECOM Control Room, rather than attend an office, to make complaints or give information, at this time.

The INDECOM Control Room can be contacted via telephone (876)968-8875 or (876)968-1932; Whatsapp message (876)553-5555 or through our website www.indecom.gov.jm.

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