Opinions sought on police bill

| 28/08/2008

Although the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) has already been following much of the proposed legislation in the new Police Bill, government is now seeking public opinion. Among the many changes is the proposal for an independent complaints commission and the right ofthose arrested to be read their rights and to gain access,on request, to legal council. (Left David George)

Speaking about some of the details in the bill recently the Police Commissioner David George said that while the RCIPS was in practice already doing much of what is written in the bill once passed, it would ensure consistency and documentation of police activity.

“For the first time it enshrines the rights for people to seek and get legal advice when arrested,” said David George. “In practice however, it has already been the case that if anyone sought legal advice it would be given,” he said. “We do it pretty well already following what is in the new bill, but once it’s legislated it will makesure we do it consistently, but in short the processes we now follow are what is enshrined in the new law.”

He said there would be training implications for the police once the bill was enshrined but most officers were already following its content. He said issues such as integrity of evidence what is very important as this is an area where defence barristers could challenge the veracity of a case.

“We have been seeking to ensure systems match the challenges we face in court and continuity in evidence,” he added. “This bill is not going to formalise those systems and we will now have to ensure consistency and document everything that we do,” he said.  

The draft Police Bill (2008) was published on 18 August as supplement no. 4 to the Cayman Islands Gazette No. 17. Electronic copies  are linked on the Cayman Isalnds Legislative Assembly website, and Hard copies of the bill are available from the Legislative Assembly and

The deadline for public input is 5 pm. Tuesday, 30 September 2008. Comments can be sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers, Fourth Floor, and Government Administration Building; or by e-mail to virginia.gendron@gov.ky

 

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