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Cabinet considers changes to Police Complaints Authority Act

Cabinet is mulling a proposal to make changes to the Police Complaints Authority Act.

The suggested amendments would affect the functions of the authority, supervision of investigations and formal resolutions of complaints.

Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley

Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley

In making the announcement this morning, Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley said the force was struggling with challenges such as allegations of abuse of power, lack of integrity and other corruption claims.

At the same time, he said he was pleased with the efforts of the Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith in “weeding out” members of the force who were breaking the law.

Addressing this morning’s launch of the Police Customer Satisfaction Survey at the District “A” Police Station, Lashley also indicated that Government was moving to tighten gun control laws in the country.

While noting that ten guns have been seized for the year, the minister said legislation was being drafted to give additional authority to the Commissioner of Police.

He explained that this would be facilitated by changes to the Firearms Act that would clear the way for the establishment of a firearms database to be held by the police chief.

Based on this change, all licensed firearm holders are mandated to allow the commissioner to collect ballistic DNA.

“The Commissioner of Police will be authorized to take control of the weapon before it is passed to the consumer from a dealer. Thus, the commissioner will become the overseer of guns coming into the island,” Lashley said.

Speaking ahead of the presentation of the survey, he said crime and citizen security continue to be a concern though arrests have been made in connection with all of the five homicides committed for the year.

He also hailed recent changes to the Evidence Act that allows for the electronic interviewing of suspects.

“The Act will allow for profile matching systems in identifying accused persons, replacing the traditional line up with images generate electronically through a profile matching system,” the minister explained.

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