By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
POLICE Commissioner David Manning says 39 errant cops were sacked nationwide since last July and warns that there is zero tolerance on indiscipline in the constabulary.
“The command and control of the constabulary is the key to ensure that the police force continued to effectively maintain and uphold public law and order for the people and country,” he said.
“That cannot be carried out effectively if there is no discipline among officers, men and women,” he said, adding that all commanders had been told to adhere to zero tolerance on indiscipline last year.
Comm Manning also revealed that sweeping changes were being proposed to ensure zero tolerance on indiscipline in the force and to also protect both the public and policemen and women in the line of duty.
“The changes will entail a new Discipline Policy for harsher penalties for offences not enforced in the past and proposed amendments to the Police Force Act,” he added.
He said of those sacked, 11 were convicted for various crimes, including murder, theft and causing grievous bodily harm.
“The 11 were court convicted and later dismissed under Section 32 (2) of the Police Force Act while 28 were dismissed on disciplinary charges and dealt with administratively,” he said, adding that more cops had been sacked in the past 12 months compared with previous years.
Speaking to The National on the suspension of 14 policemen who were allegedly involved in murders in two weeks (from March 26 to April 7), Comm Manning said: “You can expect more dismissals in the coming months and years because of our zero tolerance policy on indiscipline.
“Internal Investigation Unit or Internal Affairs (IIU) are tasked to respond and investigate all public complaints against policemen.
“We are also reviewing our recruitment procedures as well as developing more contemporary and effective ways of dealing with unethical and unprofessional behaviour.
“A Discipline Policy has been drafted for final review and endorsement. This will see harsher penalties on a range of offences not enforced in the past.”
Comm Manning revealed that criminalisation of certain offences in the Police Force Act was also being drafted to amend the Act and regulations to reflect this.
“Offences pertaining to AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave), insubordination, dereliction of duties, are among these offences that we will be proposing to be criminalised,” he added.
Comm Manning said proposals would be submitted to amend the Police Force Act to protect the public from malicious prosecution as well as from acts of violence perpetrated against members of the police force in the course of their duties or as a result of carrying out their lawful duties.
Meanwhile, National Capital District/Central commander ACP Anthony Wagambie Jr confirmed The National’s front page report that two police constables from the Police Rural Response Unit had been formally arrested and charged by the Homicide Squad last Friday.
This follows the recovery of the decomposed body of Emmanuel Ivagai, 27, on April 4.
Ivagai was believed to have been picked up by policemen in a police vehicle on the Hiritano Highway on March 28.
“We have allowed the investigation to be conducted independently without any interference.
“The evidence provided by eye witnesses led to the arrest of the two policemen.
“We are still investigating and require state witnesses.”
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA