Officers at St. John’s Police Station enter Day Two of sit-in, with Attorney-General Benjamin being criticized for incompetence

The competence of Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the minister of
justice and national security, continues to be questioned, as officers
at the St. John’s Police Station staged the second day of a sit-in on
Tuesday, July 18.

This action, which began on July 17, has forced cases at the
Magistrates’ Court to be adjourned and court proceedings halted, as
the lawmen protest deplorable and unhealthy working conditions. 
Reports say there is a mold infestation affecting at least three offices
— the Criminal Records Office (CRO),  the Prosecution Department,
and the guard desk.

As a result of the action, officers who prosecute at the Magistrates’
Court are unable to properly prepare for cases and review their files,
and this halted proceedings at the court on Tuesday.

While Benjamin reportedly had promised that the issue would be
addressed immediately, nothing has yet been done; and it is not
clear for how long the lawmen will continue with their action.

Other promises have been made to have the officers relocated, but it
is also not clear whether a building or location has been identified.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID), which operates on
the same compound but in a different section, continues to function
normally, in addition to the other day-to-day operations, including
investigating cases and reports.

This is the second department under Benjamin’s watch where staff
were forced to take action over a mold infestation. The High Court
was closed for about two weeks, a month ago, forcing the
postponement of cases there.

Now, there are reports that the High Court is again being impacted,
although by another issue. Media reports suggest that the lack of
running water at the Parliament Drive compound has led to early
closures, causing the delay in cases being heard and completed. 
A source says this is another instance of “Justice delayed is justice
denied” under the watch of Attorney-General Benjamin.