While the Police reportedly are considering the introduction of “custody officers,” Leon Chaku Symister says this is a knee-jerk reaction to the public’s concerns about the way people are treated in police custody.
Last week, some media outlets reported that there will be changes in the way detainees are handled at the various police stations.
The police hierarchy is contemplating creating these custody officers to oversee the welfare of persons being detained, which will call for changes to CAP 330 of the Police Act.
Symister, an attorney-at-law, says this move is a subtle admission by the Force’s hierarchy that it is failing to carry out its duties as they relate to the treatment of persons in custody.
Symister says that police officers ought to be oriented and trained to understand their responsibilities. He says that creating a custody department alongside police officers who exhibit aggressive and uncaring behaviour will not solve the problem.
Meanwhile, the attorney says that more attention needs to be paid to the Police Force since it plays an important role in the society. However, he charges that consecutive Labour Party Administrations have neglected the Force and its officers.
The lack of attention will become a thing of the past under a United Progressive Party (UPP) government, he declares.