RETIRED Senior Superintendent of Police Reneto Adams is supporting former Assistant Commissioner Les Green’s harsh criticisms of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), including its forensic capabilities.
Adams, whose name drove fear into hardened criminals and was the head of the disbanded Crime Management Unit, said of all the British-based officers who were seconded to Jamaica to assist the country in its fight against time, Green had the most integrity.
“He was a man of great integrity and professionalism. However, he was not supported from inside and outside the force. There were those who did not wish to see him succeed,” Adams told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
In an interview in the British newspaper the Mirror on Sunday, Green criticised the unprofessionalism of some members of the constabulary, whom he said would prefer to slurp a drink of alcohol or ogle a pretty woman rather than tackle immediate tasks with urgency.
“When I first went there, the forensic capability was very poor and ineffective,” Green, who arrived in Jamaica in 2004 and left in 2012, told the Mirror.
“There, it still takes up to two years to get DNA results, unlike in the UK, where you can get them in two days. In Jamaica, there is nothing like the sense of urgency I had in the UK where I would send someone out to take a statement and they would do it immediately. Here I could send someone out for weeks on end and eventually they would come back with a statement,” he added.
“If a pretty girl walks past they will look at the pretty girl instead of what they are doing. There is always tomorrow, always another time to do something. There’s always a drink or a pretty woman to distract them,” he said.
Yesterday, Adams, while not being critical of all police officers, said many left a lot to be desired in their unprofessional behaviour.
“There is no urgency and a lack of efficiency. People remain in high positions for years, although they have failed miserably,” he said.
Adams spent 41 years in the police force and rose through the ranks to become one of the most popular names in the constabulary.
His penchant for speaking his mind, regardless of the consequences, drew the ire of many, including human rights activists, but he has lost none of his verbal fire in retirement.
He did not mince words in agreeing with Green that archaic law enforcement systems were hampering the fight against crime.
For at least five years, Green had advocated the modernisation of the Government Forensic Lab, the implementation of a DNA law, and the improvement of the force’s ballistic testing facility.
However, some of these measures are still to be implemented, resulting in Green telling the Mirror that his stint in the island was a step back in time.
“The culture of the force has not changed since it was formed in 1867,” said Adams. “It was formed to protect the plantocracy, the elite, the landed gentry from the small man, and it still remains that way. There are those in powerful positions who don’t want that to change, and that is why things don’t move faster. They are forcing square pegs into round holes.”
Although he was admired by some members of the public for his flamboyant but no-nonsense crimefighting style, Adams said he was not always shown love by his peers and can empathise with Green.
“I was also hated and despised for my principled position,” he said.