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Ballantyne calls for Witness Protection Programme

Ballantyne calls for Witness Protection Programme

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Persons will continue to remain tight-lipped about helping police to solve crimes if they know that they cannot be given any assurance of safety.{{more}}

And to this end, head of the Criminal Investigations Department Brinsley Ballantyne is calling for the establishment of a Witness Protection Programme here.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, Ballantyne said that persons in society will continue to refuse to come forward with any information because they feel they would not be safe. “The only thing we have to depend on most is forensic testing, which takes time,” he stated.

Ballantyne explained that he is not sure how the programme would be implemented or if the government would give it some thought. He added that he thought the programme might come with its fair share of problems, especially dealing with the geographical make up of St Vincent and the Grenadines, but it’s worth giving a try. On the brighter side, Ballantyne said persons would now come forward more freely with information relating to crimes, especially murder. “I really feel there is a need for this programme to ensure the safety of people’s lives,” he stated.

On October 21, 2006, Carlisle “Saddam” Joseph of McKies Hill was gunned down in Rose Place. At the time of Joseph’s death, he was a key witness for the prosecution in the trial of persons accused of killing Brian “Free-I” Lewis and George “Nikki” Browne, who were both killed in a sea of bullets just one year earlier on October 8, 2005, also in Rose Place. That trial was set for the assizes of October 2006. (KW)

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