The Civil Review Complaints Commission launched on the 21st of November, 2018 and it will be chaired by former police commissioner Gerald Westby. The commission will assist in the investigation of complaints surrounding the police. It held its first working group and is looking at complaints made in relation to the department that occurred in 2018. Love News Spoke to Gerald Westby who says he will be leading the charge when it comes to the work being carried out by the commission.
Gerald Westby Chairperson, Civil Review Complaints Commission: “I deal with complaints from the public. We are an oversight committee and we have a representative from each of the districts but our job is just and oversight to make sure that the complaints are dealt with expeditiously and that they are dealt with fairly and we had our first group meeting on the 8th of December and at our next meeting on the 31st we will be looking at all the civilian complaints against the Police for the year 2018 and then we will be able to give the public a good analysis of what we see are the problems and how best to address these problems that civilians have with Police. As a matter of fact I will embark on a country wide tour commencing tomorrow in Orange Walk. I am going to all the media houses and I am speaking to the local cops as the the functions and how best they can access this committee. The Professional Standards Branch will still be responsible to investigate all civilian complaints. Civilians can still go to the Professional Standards Branch but of course if a civilian has a complaint and he knows the member of the committee in the particular district he can always make a verbal complaint and a particular member will ensure that it gets investigated by the Professional Standards Branch. As a matter of fact I have been following complaints from the public very closely as it relates to even the one in San Pedro I had an interim report and the Commissioner and I with the Minister discussed how best to handle it.”
Westby says that the commission will be going on a countrywide listening tour starting Thursday in the Orange Walk District. He says they will listen to the issues that officers are facing.