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Assistant Commissioner in charge of crime, Richard Browne, left, and acting Commissioner of Police, Colin John at Wednesday's event. (iWN photo)
Assistant Commissioner in charge of crime, Richard Browne, left, and acting Commissioner of Police, Colin John at Wednesday’s event. (iWN photo)
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On the issue of a sex offenders registry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Police Force believes that it must balance the public’s right to know and the offender’s human rights considerations.

“I think it can be a helpful tool but we have to balance the issue of privacy of persons with the issue of the registry,” acting Commissioner of Police Colin John said Wednesday at the launch of the Sexual Offences Unit of the Police Force.

“Because we know St. Vincent and the Grenadines where we are a small community and I have seen, from time to time, persons who were labelled as sexual predators came into some problems where they were unable to live in certain communities, persons resorted to vigilante justice, they were deprived for of the opportunity to rent a house because no one in the community wanted them in that community,” said John, a lawyer and former prosecutor.

“So we have to balance the right of the person to live and associate with giving information to the public to protect them or for them to be on guard as to persons with that type of behaviour being close to them.”

John was asked to comment on the issue in the context of a society where accused persons are often deemed and treated as guilty, even before they are tried.

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Much of this attitude is fuelled by the media, which often exploits the emotions of the public.

John said members of the public should not take the law into their own hands.

“Allow the police to do their job. As much as the 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 a law unto themselves.”

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Crime, Richard Browne said that the police force will develop a database for its internal use.

“Until such time as the powers that be deem it fit to have such a registry, we will have to keep it within our own sphere,” he said at the event.

4 replies on “Police to keep sex offenders list private”

  1. Utter nonsense. This is not a matter of persons “labelled as sexual predators” but of persons who have been found guilty of criminal sexual assault and who have served prison time for the incurable criminal act — yes, incurable — of exploiting mainly underage children for sexual gratification.

    Vincentians have an absolute human right to know the names and residence of the convicted sexual predators around so they can properly protect themselves and their children.

    Such lists are readily available in the civilized countries of the world. This is more proof that because we are not civilized, the identities of sexual predators will be hidden so that they can easily strike again.

    Why is this government trying to protect such people instead of their potential victims?

    Again, utter nonsense.

  2. Eric R. Henry says:

    Not really…the POLICE is there to “Protect & Serve” Indeed this a a balancing ACT…Even the allege offender has his’her rights…POLICING all over the world has gotten MORE delicate…and the Officers themselves, have to be on the “Ball” to be or NOT to be…The POLICE is now caught between a rock and a hard place…but the POLICE have to do…what it has to do…I know….because I too, was a Police Officer.

  3. Alleged offenders should not be disclosed for obvious reasons but I see every right in terms of public policy to disclose convicted offenders.

    This balances all scales!

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