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Member of Parliament for South Eastern St. Catherine, Colin Fagan, has said that the Act relating to the granting of bail for persons accused of certain crimes, should include provisions to give more support to the justice system.
He said that rather than imposing a 60-day detention without bail, the Bill, should, instead, “provide the courts with database that is electronically driven to fast-track those cases that are outstanding, and provide a legal aid programme that is more friendly and accessible to those who are unable to access legal representation”.
The Opposition MP was contributing to the debate on the six Anti-Crime Bills in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 9).
He argued that the main provisions of the Bill – mandatory minimum sentencing, extending the powers of arrest, and restricting and granting of bail – could lead to the abuse of civil rights.
Turning to measures to fix the country’s crime problems, Mr. Fagan suggested an overhaul of the education system and the local government machinery, as well as revitalizing the economy.
In addition, he said, the social development agencies must be given the necessary tools to provide meaningful community development programmes.
“To fix crime is to provide opportunity for national service, and have a well-trained police force and a trustworthy justice system, which will provide equal rights and justice for all, irrespective of socioeconomic background, religious or political affiliation,” he asserted.
The Anti-Crime Bills are: an Act to amend the Bail Act; an Act to further amend the Firearms Act; an Act to amend the Offences Against the Person Act; an Act to amend the Parole Act; an Act to make interim provision in relation to the granting of bail in specified circumstances; and an Act to make interim provision extending the powers of arrest and detention under Sections 50B and 50F of the Constabulary Force Act.