From the Courts
November 23, 2018
Sexual offenders list reserved for police eyes only says ACP Browne

While a sexual offenders’ registry can be a helpful tool, the rights of a person, including the issue of privacy must be looked at.

That is the view of acting Commissioner of Police (COP) Colin John.

“…With the issue of the registry…we know St Vincent and the Grenadines is a small community and I have seen from time to time persons who were labelled as sexual predators, they came into some problems where they were unable to live in certain communities,” COP John told journalists recently at the launch of the Sexual Offences Unit (SOU).

Commissioner John said that there are instances where persons resorted to vigilante justice and there have also been instances where sexual offenders were deprived of the opportunity to rent a house because no one in the community wanted them in that community.

“So, we have to balance the right of that person to live and associate and giving the information to the public to protect the public,” stressed the commissioner who added that the public must also be on guard about persons who have that type of behaviour.

Commissioner John also asked persons not take the law into their hands and allow the police to do their job when persons are accused of sexual offences.

“So much as the information, allegation may be of a heinous nature, a person is innocent until proven guilty so allow the law to take its course. We are not living in the law of the jungle where everybody is law unto themselves so allow the law to take it course,” stressed the COP.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Richard Browne, also speaking at the launch of the SOU, said that the police will develop a sexual offenders data base for their own use, not for the public’s consumption.

“Until such time that the powers that be deems it fit to have such a registry then we will have to keep it within our own spheres,” said the ACP.