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Police officers must do their work – Chief Magistrate

Police officers must do their work – Chief Magistrate


Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias has described the attitude of some police officers towards their duties as “worthlessness.”

At a sitting of the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday, Browne-Matthias made the comment after being told by senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche that summonses for more than five witnesses to appear in court on a partly heard preliminary inquiry, had not been served.{{more}}

“People must work hard for their money. I think this is just worthlessness. Police officers must do their work. Serving summonses is basically an easy work to do.

“You must do an honest day’s work. Some of them are just getting a salary and do not work. I hate that,” a visibly upset Browne-Matthias said.

In his remarks, Delpesche, a former police officer, said in his time in the force, he would always look forward to going on summons duties so that he could go out into the field.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT after the conclusion of court, Delpesche said the law states that people must be served summonses to come to court and they must be served in a reasonable time.

He said sometimes police would warn witnesses verbally to attend court, but noted that the law does not state such.

“So, we try our best to get summonses out to people early, so that they can come to court on time. But the problem we are facing is that sometimes the summonses are not being served,” Delpesche said.

“Sometimes you send the summons to the stations and next thing you call and they say they aren’t served and they remain there or about a week and that is a problem.”

Delpesche said when matters languish in court, persons become disinterested in the case and sometimes lose confidence in the justice system.

“We can’t afford to have people losing faith in our justice system. The system has to work and it can only work if the people who are responsible for having it work, do what they are supposed to do efficiently,” Delpesche added.