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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Thursday, November 14, 2002 - During Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, the Police Complaints Bill tabled by the Minister for Home Affairs and Gender Relations, Honourable Sarah Flood Beaubrun went through all it stages.

According to the Home Affairs Minister, the Police Complaints Bill was presented to the house in view of the numerous complaints being brought forward by the public regarding the lack of response, investigation and follow up by the police to the complaints made, by members of the public.

Mrs. Beaubrun stated that such a situation quite often leaves members of the public very disgruntled and dissatisfied. Therefore the primary objective of that bill is to establish an effective system whereby the public can receive the level of response and collaboration necessary to re-establish their confidence in the Police Force.

“When those complaints are made over and over again and nothing is done about them, it gives the impression that the entire Police Force, that all the officers in the Police Force are either brutalizing people or are acting in a manner that is not consistent with the work that they do. So it magnifies the problem, because you have a few or a minority of Police Officers who may have done this act in the past and nothing was done about it” Mrs. Beaubrun said.

Among the many clauses of the bill is one that provides for the establishment of a special complaints unit within the Police Force. The unit shall investigate complaints made by the police against police officers and refer to it by the Commission. The unit shall also resolve the complaints in accordance with this Act and also submit to the Commissioner and the Commission at the end of every month, a progress report on the work undertaken by the unit and a final report on all investigations.

The Home Affairs Minister said that this unit shall be headed by an officer no lower than that of Assistant Superintendent, except in the case where the complaint is against the head of the unit, or

against an officer of a higher rank than the head of the unit, in which case the Commissioner shall appoint an officer senior to that of the officer against whom the case is made to investigate that complaint.


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