JIS News

Opposition Spokesperson on National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has urged the Government to put laws in place to enhance the investigative capabilities of the security force.
“Some of this legislation had already been drafted. These include: a Port Security Act that would facilitate the more effective setting and enforcement of security standards for all ports, whether public or private and which should assist in reducing the flow of guns through our ports,” he stated.
Dr. Phillips, who was making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 10), noted that amendments to the Evidence Act have also been prepared, to allow witnesses under threat to give evidence by telecommunications link from secure remote locations.
“Much work had also been done in preparing legislation, to permit the routine collection of DNA samples from accused persons charged with serious offences, on much of the same basis as are now provided in relation to fingerprints. This should substantially improve the investigative capabilities of the police,” he stated.
Dr. Phillips also pointed to the “urgent need” to develop some legal framework, which would assist in removing violent criminals from the streets and facilitate the conclusion of police investigations.
“Too often, provisions of the Bail Act are exploited and violent criminals are let loose to intimidate and coerce witnesses,” he noted.
He said that while “we do not think it appropriate to invoke the powers of a state of emergency in order to achieve this objective, we are nevertheless prepared to explore with the Government a viable and acceptable response to this particular circumstance.”

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