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‘Open debate’ on Police Bill

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

‘Open debate’ on Police Bill

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Political activist David Comissiong wants more public discussion on the Police (Amendment) Bill 2017.

“The main component of this bill is a proposal to give the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General the power – by themselves – to impose a two-day “curfew” on any geographical area within our nation, or indeed across the entire island,” Comissiong said.

“If the Commissioner considers that he has received information or intelligence with regard to criminal activity in any area of Barbados, and it appears to him that due to the nature or extent of the criminal activity, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that in the interest of public safety, public order or for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime, it is necessary to do so”, he can use those extra powers.


Excess powers


“The bill therefore proposes to give the police powers over the Barbadian citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed rights to liberty, security of the person, and protection of the privacy of his home and other property, that are way in excess of the powers that the police currently generally possess” he said.

Comissiong, who is an attorney at law, pointed out the current legislation did allow a period of public emergency to be called, though only by way of a vote in both the House of Assembly and the Senate and not by one of two people.

“I can’t speak for the rest of my fellow Barbadians, but certainly I, as a citizen of Barbados, do not feel comfortable with such power being placed in the hands of the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police,” he said. (CA)