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Police Commissioner says "There are criminals among us"
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June 3 Montego Bay Jamaica: In a shockingly candid speech on day two of the annual conference of the Police Federation, Commissioner Thomas painted a damning picture of the police, accusing colleagues of drug running and other forms of criminality.

"We have criminals among us, criminals. It is not only corporals, sergeants and inspectors. It goes all the way up," Mr. Thomas declared.

He added that there was intelligence that police frequently supply criminals with bullets, some of which he said might have factored in the killing of several policemen.

He said the police had now become major players in the illicit drug trade, with some officers shamelessly using their service vehicles to load and escort drugs, while others were bosses for drug couriers.

Dr. Phillips, who himself had hinted in the past about corruption in the police force, said Commissioner Thomas' statements were steps in the right direction.

"I think Mr. Thomas has indicated the determination of the (Police) High Command and the Government, to come to terms with this process and to ensure we have a high quality of integrity among the members of the constabulary force."

He attributed the commissioner's comments to 'solid information' which he said could prove beneficial in the nation's fight against organised crime and other forms of criminal activities.

"This matter (of corruption) has been raised in a number of quarters on different occasions," Dr. Phillips said." "In recent times, we see where persons have been arrested ­ some awaiting identification ­ who have been members of the force."

The commissioner also disclosed that some police personnel supported criminals' firing at their colleagues, and that information regarding police raids was occasionally disclosed to criminals.

Mr. Smith added that he commended the commissioner for publicly stating the extent to which corruption had besieged the JCF.

He noted, however, that with the support of the Police Federation and other reputable bodies within the JCF, Commissioner Thomas should have the necessary support to rid the force of corrupt members.

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