Police closer to establishing Prosecution Unit

The revelation was made by Commissioner of Police (Ag) Stafford Liburd and during a recent interview with MiyVue, he explained the purpose of the unit.

He said that on St. Kitts, the current situation is that Sergeants and Corporals, who hold responsibility for the various outstations, tend to prosecute individual cases. This, he says, occurs especially in District ‘B’ which stretches from Ross University to Lodge via Sandy Point.

“Our intention is to develop a single Prosecution Unit in the St Christopher division which would handle cases of both District ‘A’ and District ‘B’. With the current system, most Sergeants and Corporals who are in charge of outstations, prosecute individual cases. But when the unit is established, it will have a designated set of individuals whose main responsibility would be to prosecute persons on behalf of the police at the magisterial level.

Liburd said the idea of creating this unit was conceived years ago but its establishment has become even more necessary as of late.

“It is important because we have to look at deployment of man power. At times when court is going on, we have a number of Sergeants and Corporals who are tied up in the courts in Basseterre and in Sandy Point when they are needed in other areas. Right now, we are looking at having at least four prosecutors for that unit. We expect that the technical skills of those focusing on court prosecution would be improved by the establishment of this unit.”

Asked about the existing Court and Process Department, the acting Commissioner indicated that when established, the Prosecution Unit will encompass the Court and Process Department rather than eliminating or replacing it.

“The Court and Process Department currently deals with matters in District ‘A’. But once the Prosecution Unit is established, it would deal with prosecuting criminal matters from both districts. It is not necessary to deal with Nevis’ cases because Nevis has already operates with a similar system.”

The Head of the police force told MiyVue that, following the establishment of the unit, the Traffic Department will still be required to prosecute traffic matters which arise in District ‘A’. Those incidents which take place in District ‘B’ will be prosecuted by the unit.

Liburd expressed his hope that the unit would be established within “the coming months”.

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