Magistrate Giselle Jackman-Lumy has admonished the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) for what she said is negligence of their duties.
Magistrate Jackman-Lumy complained about the performance of local police on Monday after she was forced to dismiss a number of traffic court cases concerning persons whose names kept appearing on the court’s list but were never served with a summons to appear in court.
Police officers are typically responsible for serving summons to persons accused of committing traffic-related offences.
Magistrate Jackman-Lumy also had to adjourn a number of other traffic cases because the RVIPF’s prosecutions department was generally ill-prepared for court and did not have all the required documents needed for the respective traffic matters to be heard.
According to police prosecutor Roger Williams, some officers involved in the respective traffic matters have not been producing these required documents.
He, therefore, had to shoulder the brunt of the criticism from Magistrate Jackman-Lumy on Monday.
“It is not an indictment on you but right now you are the face of the RVIPF so there is no other way for me to communicate this,” she told Williams.
“You are here doing what you should do, we are here doing what we should do but somewhere along the line, there is a break in the chain. So, I think the message needs to go back that the court is very disenchanted by this.”
Action affecting police morale
Magistrate Jackman-Lumy also said officers not doing what they are required for the continuation of the judicial process could affect other officers who she said are ‘out in the sun and rain’ enforcing the law.
“It must be demoralizing for the officers as well – for them to make charges and nothing comes of it … simply because somebody else didn’t do what they were supposed to do. But what else is the court to do when some matters have been on the [court’s] list perpetually?” she asked.
Late last month, some 10 traffic-related matters were dismissed at the court.
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