Corruption in the Police Force – The Sad Case of SSP James Forbes

Senior Superintendent of Police James Forbes SSP attempting to pervert the course of justiceFor years the police force has been tainted with corruption.

There are some who want to pretend that the force is not near 90% corrupt. I would want one Jamaican to point out where you have a majority of clean and untainted police. Do your research, get to know them and you will realize and know that most are corrupt.

It is in this regard why SSP James Forbes now faces the judgement of the law. For years since Britain gave us independence public confidence in our policemen has fallen. My uncle who was trained in Scotland Yard told me that the only problem the force had in the late 1950’s was influenced by colonialism. The colonial masters ensured colourism was maintained. All the top members of the force were white or extremely light skinned blacks (in fact mulattos). Apart from that corruption was a foreign word, except if we interpret the power and authority in the hands of whites or near whites as a corrupted tool by the British colonialists and imperialists.

By 1972 when we had the first true black Jamaican Commissioner, the seeds were set. Policemen took it upon themselves to bleed the gullible for money and bribes. Growing up in St. Ann I  learned of the entire police force at Cave Valley Police Station being transferred to Kingston Central, St. Ann’s Bay and elsewhere as  with the genesis of the marijuana export trade, cops were buying  mansions in pristine areas of Discovery Bay, having assisted the ganja farmers of Aboukir Woods, Murray Mountains, McKenzie and the Dry Harbour Mountains to  export their ganja crops by facilitating the landing of Cessna planes which  illegally  entered our airspace and national territory.


By the 1980’s policemen were partners with politicians especially those bringing in the coke to fight the 1980 election. Jamaica knew the rest. Police became bed partners with the political parties laying the success of election victory as a result of wholesale police votes and support.

The 80’s also saw the mushrooming of drugs by those who graduated from marijuana to transnational trafficking of cocaine from Columbia to the USA and England. Again members of the force protected drug dons and assorted criminals, some going as far as being executioners for the despicable drug pushers , many of who knew not a day of honest employment.

Jamaicans can write a history book of police corruption. It has been with us since the late 60’s and will be with us for some time.

Alas, there are many young youth who are not going to be a part and parcel of corruption.  You will not be able to bribe all black people. Many have their pride, their dignity and the good values taught by parents. People like Forbes have now learnt that not every cop can be bought.  It is a learning experience which has cost him a public career but he in particular, at such a high rank should have known not to collaborate with those who seek favour, especially when they are in high positions, because it is those with money and power who seek to corrupt. The moneyless or poor have not the wherewithal to buy people.

For too long police have interfered with the justice system and gotten away; for too long they have been successful in getting away because they are in the pockets of the corrupt. The “squaddie” mentality and the thinking they are the law and are above the law will not prevail in this global world  or in a society which civic society is pressuring for transparency and non corruption. This time we have a clean and un-influenced judge who is doing her duty and who is not a dunce in the laws.

I am certain other policemen now will think twice before breaking the law. I hope we will see a new attitude toward respecting the law rather than policemen selling their soul to the devil.

If all corrupt persons, not just the security force members knew the doctrine of Calvinism, they would think thrice before getting involved in clandestine and illicit arrangements and activities. It simply states that although many may hear the news of salvation, only some are predestined to enter God’s kingdom. It is a nice doctrine, because drawing an analogy cops will know that for all those who become engaged in corrupt activities, some will get caught- Not all will go absolutely uncaught.


Lastly, the wise saying of my great, great quarter Irish grandmother has never been more true,“If You follow Juanica, you sleep a ashes.”

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Winston Donald

My name is Winston Donald. I am currently completing a MA in Cultural Studies researching Street Art ( from a cultural studies perspective) I am Recruiting Officer and Enrollment Officer for University College of the Caribbean, New Kingston. I contribute to the Commonwealth Short StoryCompetition Columnist for the defunct Sunday Herald Newspaper Author on Marijuana : Export trade and Rural economics (manuscript being completed) Author on Rural Jamaican Cooking Creator of The Diaspora - Word Press blog Contributor to Sun Sentinel newspaper of South Florida Regular/Frequent contributor to the Gleaner and Observer newspaper

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