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Tuesday 25 June 2019
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CoP: Officers hurt by audit findings

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams expressed his discontent with the findings of the police manpower audit on Wednesday during the 29th meeting of the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on National Security at Parliament.

Williams took committee members to task on the statistics quoted in the report, claiming it does not present an accurate view of the inner workings of the Police Service and criticised the information presented. He added while there may be pressing issues related to recruitment and organisation within the executive arm of the police, they were exaggerated by the report.

“I had great concern the report did not fairly present the Police Service and I asked Deputy Commissioners Phillip and Christopher whether they were in full agreement with that report. The audit was supposed to capture the Police Service as it exists now, and out of that report now you were supposed to see what is working. It’s a report which doesn’t reflect at all the true position or what is working.

“Is there anything good in the Police Service today? It’s difficult to say from this report.”

However, Williams said while he was dissatisfied with the report’s findings, he believed some suggestions, if implemented, would have a positive effect on operations within the service.

Committee chairman MP Fitzgerald Hinds said among the major issues facing the service was poor management of the human resources (HR) department. Quoting from the report, he said the department was poorly organised, to the extent that it would be impossible for officials to tell how many officers were on duty on a given day. “The whole picture that we got is horrific for an important organisation like the Police Service, and one of our recommendations is to improve the HR function. The Commissioner wrote two letters using the power that he possesses to deal with two errant officers, only to discover that nothing was there to support it.”

Director of the HR department Deborah Neemar-Tracey said while there were mechanisms in place to minimise backlogs, there were several challenges facing the department.

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