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Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority

It was established by Parliament in 2005 under the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority Act.

It was established to create a body, external to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to provide scrutiny and promote accountability in the operations of the JCF and its Auxiliary.

The enabling legislation created a Board of 7 civilians independent of the JCF and its Auxiliary. The Members are:

  • Jacqueline Hinkson (Chairman)
  • Gladstone Lewars
  • Pastor Glen Samuels
  • Norman Heywood
  • Vivette Miller
  • Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Brady

The Governor-General.

  • Monitor the JCF’s implementation of its policies;
  • Monitor whether JCF’s performance is in keeping with international best practices and procedures;
  • Conduct inspections of the JCF and its Auxiliary
  • Monitor whether the JCF is conforming to its rules and procedures
  • 5A West Avenue, Kingston Gardens


In the course of carrying out its functions, the PCOA is empowered to:

  • Require the attendance of the Commissioner of Police or any other officer of the JCF and Auxiliary
  • Call for and examine documents and records
  • Do all such other things as it considers necessary or expedient for purpose of carrying out its functions under the Act for corrective action and further investigation.
  • The Authority is authorized in the discharge of its duties to refer a matter to the Police Service Commission and the Commissioner of Police as the case may require for the appropriate action to be taken.

Yes… any member of the JCF or Auxiliary who obstructs, hinders or prevents an employee of the PCOA from entering any premises and also fails or refuses to give information or to produce any document or record required by that officer. The officer   if found guilty of an offence by a Resident Magistrate, can be fined not exceeding $100,000.00


After each inspection, the Inspection and Monitoring Unit (IMU) briefs the Sub-Officer on shift on findings from an inspection.

The IMU has a policy of providing feedback to the respective divisional hierarchy prior to the completion of a final inspection report for dissemination.

  • The Minister/Ministry of National Security
  • Commissioner of Police
  • Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau (IPROB)
  • JCF Secretariat to the PCOA
  • Divisional Commander
  • Police Services Commission
  • Stakeholders

Yes. A summary of all of the inspection reports in addition to all activities is included in an Annual Report, which is tabled before Parliament.


The PCOA staff is comprised of civilians.

The PCOA is an independent agency, which falls under the Ministry of National Security

We do not investigate police shootings. This is the remit of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). The PCOA, however, would have an interest in policy/performance-related matters regarding shootings.

We do not investigate corruption activities. The Major Organized Crime & Anti-Corruption Agency does. Again, the PCOA would have a special interest in policy/performance-related issues regarding corruption.

Our powers do not include arresting law enforcement.

We cannot. What we can do is make recommendations for the respective issue to be corrected. This is included in our inspection reports, which are sent to the Minister of National Security; the Commissioner of Police, and the Inspectorate of Professional Standards Oversight Bureau (IPROB) among other key stakeholders.

The PCOA Act does not give enforcement capabilities to the Authority.

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