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Unlawful detentions could cause millions in damages, says Chuck
Opposition Spokesman on Justice, Delroy Chuck has warned that the country could be asked to pay millions in damages because the government didn't renew the temporary law which allowed the police to detain suspects for up to 72 hours without charge.
The Interim Provisions for Arrest and Detention Act which allowed the police to hold individuals for up to 72 hours without charge has expired and it means law enforcement can no longer hold citizens for more than 24 hours without charge:
"This government and the people of Jamaica could be liable for damages if anyone is held for more than 24 hours without charge and unfortunately many of these persons who are held are not aware that if they’re held without reasonable cause or for more than 24 hours that they can sue the government.”
Mr Chuck urged the police to respect the rights of citizens in this matter.
He however says Justice's of the Peace, must visit lock ups daily to ensure that individuals are not held without reason for more than 24 hours:
"I say to the Minister, I urge the minister of justice to plead with the justice of the peace, to visit the stations now everyday, to make sure that persons who are held are held for reasonable cause and not just held willy nilly because we decide to keep you because we pick you. There must be a reason why you’re being held in jailhouse and if there is no reason recorded in the bookd the man must be released.”
Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington, last week advised police personnel that the Interim Provision for Arrest and Detention Act had expired and ordered that the detention of persons for 72 hours must cease immediately.