Clampdown on moonlighting cops

AFTER years of anecdotal evidence that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have been moonlighting as bodyguards, sometimes for people with ties to the criminal underworld, a push is now coming to stamp this out.

Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson yesterday confirmed that members of the JCF are not allowed to work as bodyguards, even if they are off duty, and warned that those who do so will be dealt with.

“The only mechanism for extra work [by members of the JCF] is through a programme. There is a policy around extra work… there is a specific rate and body-guarding is not one of those things that are on it,” Anderson told journalists in response to a question at a media briefing at his Old Hope Road offices in St Andrew yesterday.

“… So, to that extent, I have asked the Inspectorate [of the JCF] to look into that issue to see if, where, and how it is happening, and if people are doing things that are outside of the policy, that is why we have a Professional Standards Branch that will be dealing with them,” added Anderson.

There have been repeated reports of cops serving as bodyguards, including one well-known case of an east Kingston contractor with alleged links to criminals, who was regularly seen with three members of the JCF serving as his bodyguards in the 1990s.

In recent months, party promoters, businessmen and known thugs have been seen at events with police personnel at their sides providing personal protection.

There has also been speculation that a businessman killed in Spanish Town, St Catherine recently was being shadowed by a policeman who was serving as his bodyguard.

At his media briefing yesterday, Anderson admitted that there were members of the JCF who sully its name through their actions and urged them to change their ways or move out.

“Those people who are letting us down; it is time to turn over a new leaf or to leave the force,” declared Anderson as he applauded the men and women of the constabulary “who are out there giving of their best and sacrificing themselves”.