Commissioner of Police Wendel Robinson is advocating for witness protection legislation to deal with issues of protecting witnesses from criminal elements.
Robinson told a press conference on Thursday that a virtual legislation in skeletal form exists on the Caricom website, and “it is just a matter of tailoring it to a particular country, for example, Antigua, and have the legislation brought before parliament so that we in the Caribbean can protect our witnesses”.
He said the lives of people need to be protected from criminals who are hell-bent on wiping them out for going to the police to give statements.
However, Robinson outlined that there already exists a system for witnesses who are concerned about their safety.
“We have a system in place where we can deal with it (protecting witnesses) in the Caribbean region and even in the wider international community. However, nothing beats legislation because when there is legislation in place there are gambits and (an) arena in which that can be properly regulated,” the commissioner said.
Robinson is appealing to the authorities to put measures in place to make this a reality as soon as is practicable.
Meanwhile, Attorney General and Minister of National Security, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin said this matter is a priority for him.
He said discussion of the legislation may not be done during the first sitting of parliament in September, “but you can rest assured it will be done for the second sitting in October”.
Benjamin said this matter was discussed several months ago in a case concerning immigration.
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Will not work. Too many criminals in the Police Force will leak the information to protect themselves
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