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Apr 7, 2008

ComPol visits Mrs. Westby to apologise

Story PictureIt’s called Operation Cycle Breaker and last Tuesday evening it attracted much more than media attention when a combined team of police and B.D.F. personnel conducted a raid at the Kraal Road home of student counsellor, Carolyn Westby. The raid yielded nothing illegal and the way it was carried out left many people criticising the department. Last Friday Police Commissioner Gerald Westby issued a public apology, but today he paid a personal call on Mrs. Westby. He briefed the press on that visit while Assistant Commissioner Crispin Jeffries, explained what went wrong with the search.

Gerald Westby, Commissioner of Police
“I personally, this afternoon rather, went to Ms. Caroline Westby and personally extended an apology on behalf of the Police Department. We are not big to admit to admit when we may have gone wrong or went wrong and the apology was witnessed by Ms. Adele Ramos—Mrs. Adele Ramos from Amandala. Having said that, I would like to point out that in hind sight, probably, we ought to have done it differently because if you people can recall sometime ago we had an incident at George Street where grenades—if my memory serves me right—grenades along with firearms were found at a residence unbeknown to that particular resident, the person who lives there. these things were hidden there unbeknown or without the consent or knowledge of the proprietor of that premises. It would have probably been more appropriate to have had the consent of the person but it’s a part of a operation and we must not lose sight of the overall objectives of the operation.”

A.C.P. Crispin Jeffries, Head of Operation Cycle Breaker
“Several of the persons wanted in connection with the recent murders or shooting incidents or robberies have been detained. We were out there shortly after the robbery this morning and we were able to assist in the detention of one of the suspects or a person we want for questioning, he is of interest to us. We assisted with the detention of several other persons in connection with the McFadzean murder, the Young murder and we are looking for other persons including the Munnings murder that had occurred earlier. So all these persons were a part of the exercise. We were focusing on dealing with the problem as opposed to just running around out there making enemies and being repressive and abusive.”

Marion Ali
“So Mr. Jeffries, what would you say went wrong on Thursday evening at Miss Westby’s house?”

Crispin Jeffries
“I believe the way we arrived at the house in large numbers may have offended Miss Westby and I think the Commissioner has apologized for that. Other than that I think that the approach to Miss Westby to enter the house, I don’t know what went wrong there. I was not at the scene at the time. I was called; I came to find yourself and others there. I tried to find out what was happening but seeing the state of aggravation and emotion I backed off and you saw what happened with Ms Westby and myself.”

The operation, which was continued over the weekend, led to the arrest of several youths in connection with various incidents.

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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