Chuck claims police told suspect about criminal report he made
Being a Member of Parliament (MP) or even a minister of Government in Jamaica does not prevent the police from being reckless about sharing information that one gives to them on criminal suspects, Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, says he has found out.
The minister, who is also Member of Parliament for North Eastern St Andrew, on Tuesday told a parliamentary committee that information he shared with the police was relayed to a suspect within minutes of him talking with the police.
Chuck said after speaking with investigators, within five minutes he received a call from the suspect, asking him why he had taken his name to the police.
While addressing the joint select committee of Parliament examining the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, more popularly called the anti-gang law, Chuck gave his testimonial.
"I have had that happening to me… I told the police who was responsible, only for the man to call me back in five minutes to ask me why am I calling his name. So I know for a fact that it happens," Chuck said.
The police have reported being often hobbled in their investigations by persons with information being reluctant to share what they know with them, out of fear that the police will pass on what they say to the criminals. In fact, there have been cases of informants being actually murdered after sharing information with the police.
Jamaicans are also mindful of the ‘informer fi dead’ culture locally, especially in inner-city communities where crime is generally rampant.
But the police have also contributed to the problem, and years ago, a senior superintendent of police attached to a Corporate Area police division implored Jamaicans to be careful about which police personnel they share information with. The SSP urged Jamaicans to visit the Office of the Commissioner of Police if they had doubts about who in the police force to pass information to.
Based on his own reported experience, Chuck is proposing an amendment to the anti-gang law, to provide serious penalties for law enforcement personnel who divulge confidential information about informants.
"That is something that is preventing so-called informers from providing information," Chuck stated.