Tue | Oct 16, 2018

New police guidelines for minor offences following Mario Deane's death

Published:Tuesday | August 12, 2014 | 6:19 PM

The National Security Minister, Peter Bunting has issued new guidelines which could prevent people caught with small amounts of ganja and who commit other minor offences from being detained in police lock up.

Instead they may now be granted station bail on their own surety.

Bunting issued the guidelines just hours after receiving an opinion from the Attorney General, Patrick Atkinson.

The new guidelines for the police:

1) Proceed by way of summons where a Justice of the Peace (JP) is available.

2) If a JP is not available, or if the offender is unable to provide identification or is unable to be identified by other means, he/she may be taken to a police station until identification can be verified. Once identification is verified, the person should be granted bail on his/ her own surety.

3) In exceptional cases (e.g. if the offender is being investigated for other serious offences) persons will be given bail with conditions, or be remanded.

The development follows the death of St James construction worker, Mario Deane while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station.

Deane had been arrested for a ganja spliff on Sunday August 3.

That same day he was he was beaten to death in his cell.

He died in hospital three days later.

Two inmates have since been charged with murder and this afternoon the Police High Command said two constables and a corporal have been been interdicted and three district constables suspended pending further investigations into the incident.

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Jamaica Gleaner