A member of the Freundel Stuart Cabinet is recommending the removal of the provision in the Bail Act that provides murder accused with the option of applying for bail.
Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley put forward this position yesterday evening as he voiced concern about the growing crime rate in the country, particularly involving young people.
Speaking at the launch of the neighbourhood watch group in Grassfield, Duncans, St Philip, the minister, who is an attorney-at-law, said it was time to look at changing the legislation.
“My view is that we probably have to . . . amend the Bail Act and remove the capital offence of murder from the schedule of offences that are bailable. That is my view. I know I might get some flack for it but I certainly believe we should remove it from the schedule and put it back where that person would have to utilize the Common Law to apply to the High Court for bail,” he said.
Minister Lashley made it clear, however, that he was not stating whether the bail application process for murder accused should be made easier or more difficult, adding that it is an individual’s constitutional right to seek bail.
In the meantime, he encouraged residents of Grassfield to press ahead with programmes that would touch the lives of young people in the area and those residing on the outskirts and keep them out of a life of crime.
President of the community neighbourhood watch group, Jennifer Fields-Layne, said the initiative was necessary at this time.
“Safety doesn’t happen by accident and precaution or prevention is better than cure,” she noted.
The community has 65 households.
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