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Sep 6, 2018

Does the “State of Public Emergency” Measure Infringe on Human Rights?

Chester Williams

You’ve heard residents and advocates of human rights express concern about the hard-line approach to tackle crime in the Old Capital.  The argument is that human rights are being suspended and that other pieces of legislation could have been used that would produce the results without infringing on the rights of persons who live in the emergency zones.  Acting Commissioner of Police Chester Williams appeared on Open Your Eyes to discuss the newly instituted emergency zones and discussed why they decided to go down this road.


Chester Williams, Acting Commissioner of Police

“When this was decided, we explored three possibilities – Section Twelve, the Constitutional provision and there is another provision in the Crime Control Act that deals with anti-social behavior. We looked at the option which we believed would give us the desired effect that we want. If we had gone under section twelve of the crime control and criminal justice Act, it says that the action must be so approved by the Crime Control Council. There is no Control Council, so we cannot go under that because the first thing that would have been said would have taken the matter to court. Let us be real, where legislation or a statute imposes certain criteria for something to be done, those criteria should not be usurped or abrogated in order to achieve the end results. When it comes to the Constitutional provision, we also wanted to be able to achieve where we can keep those persons who are creating havoc in custody for a period of time, Section Twelve doesn’t give us that.”


Kevin Arthurs, Co-Host, Open Your Eyes

“Is this too heavy of an approach?”


Chester Williams

“I maintain it is not. It is not too heavy of an approach. Sometimes as a society we have to do certain things in a way to be able to have the masses enjoy the freedom that our Constitution has given us. We cannot continue to allow a handful of people to hold a whole country hostage. Something must be done. I challenge all of those persons including you who believe that we could have chosen other routes so present them on the table, other than section twelve. Because, Section Twelve, you and I know, would not be able to able to work.”


Kevin Arthurs

“We have a difference of opinion in that.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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