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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - Caribbean Commissioners of Police have reiterated the need for legislation allowing the use of electronic surveillance in the battle against crime in the region. This is according to Saint Lucia’s Commissioner of Police, Brian Bernard, who attended the annual Commissioners of Police conference held in the Bahamas last week.

Police corruption, the police’s approach to gender issues and community policing were some of the areas tackled at the meeting. However what was considered of even greater significance was the need for police in the region to be equipped with electronic devices that can intercept communication among criminals. Commissioner Bernard stated that if this became possible, it would become a key factor in the lawmen’s fight against the drug trade. Bernard explained that “It will be a way forward so collectively we as Commissioners have put forward the idea that the way forward for us in fighting crime is for us to get the backing of the government to institute electronic surveillance”.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Senator the Honourable Petrus Compton declared Caribbean governments’ commitment to eradicating the high level of crime in the region. Senator Compton said that the authorities will now have to give prompt attention to the Commissioners’ appeal. “Now that the Commissioners have brought the matter up to the forefront and on the front burner, we are going to accelerate our work on it, and hopefully by the end of the year we should be able to have a draft ready for discussion and circulation through relevant stakeholders”.


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