Government admits to blundering in amending the Police Act

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The government has agreed that it blundered when amendments were made to the Police Act, and Attorney General Steadroy Cutie Benjamin says it will be looked at again.
He says the decision was taken following discussions on OBSERVER media’s BIG ISSUES on Sunday.
“Yesterday, I listened to the debate and the discussions on the Big Issues, and apart from the contributions of one panelist, I’m satisfied that there are areas which can be looked at again and must be addressed appropriately.
“I’ve already spoken with the prime minister on this matter and with the commissioner of police.
“I’ve done some research last evening on the guests’ recommendations, and I’m satisfied that Section 23 a must be looked at again,” the attorney general said.
Benjamin says the section in question is the one seeking to impose ministerial control over the transfer of policemen.
“The case law is quite clear that that cannot be so. So, what we propose to do is to get that amendment (and) make it strictly in compliance with the Constitution.
“It’s intended that the Police Service Commission, upon the recommendation of the commissioner of police, may transfer the officer to the appropriate area.
“The whole purpose is to make certain that we properly have policies about strategies for security matters at all material times, as most of the panelists indicated yesterday” he added. 
The attorney general says it was never the government’s intention to put any power in the hands of the minister.
A former commissioner of police, a Police Service Commission chairman and a member of the opposition have all decried the amendment, calling it unconstitutional.

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