Cablegate: Jamaica: New Head of Police Anti-Corruption


DE RUEHKG #1043/01 1861801
R 051801Z JUL 07





E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2017

Classified By: DCM James T. Heg for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)

1. (C) Summary: Mr. Justin Felice, current Senior Director
of Investigations for the Police Ombudsman of Northern
Ireland, has accepted the Government of Jamaica's offer to
become the head of a new Anti-Corruption Division within the
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) beginning in September 2007.
Felice intends to set up two units within the Division, one
public and one covert. He has received a verbal promise from
the Minister of National Security, Peter Phillips, that the
Ministry will provide the Division with the material and
moral support it needs to succeed. Felice understands that
corruption in the JCF is pervasive and that it will take
years to clean up the force, but he also recognizes that
within his first six months in office he needs to land a
pretty big fish to in effect justify his salary, which is
three times the amount a Jamaican police officer of similar
rank would receive. End Summary

2. (C) Felice, who will serve at the rank of Assistant
Commissioner of Police, and will report directly to the
Police Commissioner, is the fourth "International Police
Officer" recruited by the JCF in the last two years. The
others are Deputy Commissioner of Police for Crime, Mark
Shields, Assistant Commissioner of Police for Serious and
Organized Crime, Leslie Greene, and Assistant Commissioner of
Police for Firearms and Coastal Security, Paul Robinson. The
international officers are on expatriate salary packages,
which are essentially the equivalent of three times what a
Jamaican Police Officer would be paid at a similar rank. The
salaries are paid for 1/3 by the Government of Jamaica, 1/3
by the Jamaican Private Sector (Oliver Clarke, a wealthy
businessman and owner of the Gleaner newspaper is the main
donor from the Jamaican Private Sector) and 1/3 by the
Government of the United Kingdom.


3. (U) Felice has worked for the Police Ombudsman of Northern
Ireland since 2003, after a 30 year career as a police
officer in Great Britain. Immediately prior to his service
in Northern Ireland, Felice served with the Lancashire
Constabulary, which covers Northern England, and is one of
largest forces in the United Kingdom. He has a background in
and has commanded Professional Standards, Operations,
Intelligence and Counter Corruption Units.

A Rocky Road Ahead for Felice

4. (C) Despite U.S. and UK intervention prior to Felice's
hiring, the Government of Jamaica did not reassign the
current head of the JCF's Professional Standards Branch,
Novelette Grant and place the Branch's portfolio under
Felice. Indeed, when announcing Felice's appointment,
Minister Phillips commented that despite the good work done
by Professional Standards, more needed to be done to root out
corruption in the JCF, but Phillips declined to explain how
the Anti-Corruption Division would work with Professional
Standards. According to long-time friend, XXXXXXXXXXXX , the head of XXXXXXXXXXXX, is quite incensed about Felice's appointment viewing it not only as a slap in the face by the Ministry of
National Security and JCF hierarchy, but also an unfair
judgment of her performance, which XXXXXXXXXXXX claims has been stymied at every turn by JCF leadership uninterested in
allowing XXXXXXXXXXXX free reign to investigate anything more
than low-level officers.

5. (C) Information gathered from other officers on the force,
Mark Shields, and Leslie Green, indicates that XXXXXXXXXXXX inaction against higher ranking officers was due not only to
the Commissioner's attempts to block her progress, but
XXXXXXXXXXXX's own reluctance to put her safety and the safety of
her family at risk by going after fellow officers of
equivalent or higher rank. It is telling that when discussing
his new appointment with the NAS Director, Felice seemed
unaware of XXXXXXXXXXXX's existence, and when pressed he had no clue how his office would/should interface with the Professional
Standards Branch. The lack of clarity between the
responsibilites of the Anti-Corruption Division and
Professional Standards has to be addressed if there is any
hope of these two organizations working together. Even once
the two groups are defined on paper, Felice will have an
up-hill battle to form a professional relationship with XXXXXXXXXXXX and her staff.

Structure of the new Anti-Corruption Division

6. (C) Felice intends to have two units within the Division,
one public that will be staffed by JCF Officers, and one
covert, to be staffed by a combination of Jamaican and
foreign officers. The covert unit would only investigate
high-ranking officers. Felice has received verbal commitment
from Minister Phillips that the Ministry would provide direct
assistance to his unit. By having the Minister's backing,
Felice will hopefully be insulated from the Commissioner of
Police's anticipated efforts to sideline Felice by
financially starving the Anti-Corruption Division. According
to Felice, the Minister has also agreed in principle with
Felice's proposed structure of the Division. Based on his
description of the nature of the work done by the covert
unit, and the need to insulate it from unauthorized
disclosure of its investigations, Felice may try to recruit
personnel for the covert unit from the Jamaica Defence
Force's Military Intelligence Unit. Felice has already
secured agreement by the London Metropolitan Police (MET) and
MI-5 to second three officers (two from the MET, one from
MI-5) to Jamaica to make up the rest of the covert unit,
however this secondment would be done on a strict cost
recovery basis. Felice has not yet secured the necessary
funding to make this wish a reality. Felice informed the NAS
Director that he is confident that he will find the financial
backing to bring the officers over from the UK, as John
Yates, Assistant Commissioner of the MET, who specializes
among other duties in high profile police investigations, has
promised to intercede on Felice's behalf with the UK's Prime
Minster and Foreign and Commonwealth Office to try to secure
the funding Felice needs to go forward. Felice and Yates
have planned a visit by Yates to Jamaica in October/November,
to help Felice secure key stakeholder approval for Felice to
implement his strategic plan for the Anti-Corruption

NAS funding for the Anti-Corruption Division

7. (C) Felice intends to spend his first three months
(September - November 2007) crafting a three-year strategic
plan for the Division. In October, 2007, Felice would like
to bring in David Martin, the current Head of Strategic
Planning for the Operational Services Business Group of the
MET, which is the Group responsible for Professional Services
and Special Investigations, to help craft this plan. Martin,
has vast experience working on Anti-Corruption strategies.
NAS has agreed in principal to fund this subject matter
expert, but is awaiting a more detailed Scope of Work from
Felice before proceeding. Once Felice arrives in September,
2007, NAS will continue to assess the Division's needs and
see where some limited infusions of U.S. support would make
the best sense and have the greatest impact.

Felice understands need for early success

8. (C) Felice knows that it will be a long and difficult
battle to go after the many dirty police officers in the JCF.
Although Felice has taken a long-term view towards stamping
out corruption, perhaps in recognition of the opposition to
his appointment from both within and without the JCF, Felice
knows that during his first six-months he needs to make at
least one big case. It is his hope that as the JCF has never
really taken high-level corruption seriously that there may
be some easily exploitable low-hanging fruit he can grab to
garner that all important first success.

9. (C) Comment: Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas, who is
known to be corrupt, and to whom Felice at least nominally is
to report, has only begrudgingly accepted Felice's
appointment. Thomas along with other members of the JCF,
will likely do all they can, including participating in
extra-judicial killings of witnesses and intimidation of
their fellow officers, to prevent Felice's Division from
making progress. Serious consideration has to be given to
witness protection, and the offer of immunity in certain
instances, if it would permit the prosecution of high-level
officers. In addition, despite Minister Phillip's promises,
once on-the-job, Felice may have a very rude awakening as to
the actual level of financial support that the Ministry can
and will provide to the Anti-Corruption Division. While
Phillips considers Felice's appointment important, Felice
will have to compete against other equally important

high-priority, expensive initiatives, such as the
implementation of a 40-hour work week for JCF officers and
the National Investigative and Intelligence Agency, an Agency
Phillip's hopes to have in operation by year's end. Given
the poor fiscal health of the Government of Jamaica, the
reality is that Phillip's ability to provide funding for any
new initiative is limited and Felice would do well to start
cultivating additional outside donors now. End Comment.

© Scoop Media

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