Attorney General Anil Nandlall has posited that the destruction of the Brickdam Police Station and all its records by fire some two weeks ago will significantly affect the criminal justice system, and ultimately, the people of Guyana.
He was at the time speaking during a recent programme on the Support for the Criminal Justice System.
The criminal justice system, particularly in the magisterial district of Georgetown, will be significantly affected following the fire which destroyed the Brickdam Police Station – and with it, thousands of paper-based records on active and pending cases.
Nandlall noted that reconstructing these files will take time – which will result in major delays when it comes to the delivery of justice.
“It will result in more chronic delays. So on one hand, we are trying to bring speed and expediency to the wheels of justice, and then they are those who wish to put a spoke in that wheel literally,” Nandlall contended.
“And if they feel that by doing that, they are doing something against the government they’re absolutely mistaken…the people of Guyana, those people, innocent or guilty, who are in the system will now have to remain in the system,” the Attorney General posited, noting that those persons and their family members will suffer injustice and inconvenience.
On this note, Nandlall announced plans to fully digitise all records of the Guyana Police Force.
“We will soon again donate to the Police Force a large complement of computers and printers with the attention that they are to be used for the typing of statements which are to be used as the basis for prosecution in the courts across this country,” Nandlall explained.
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, speaking during the same event, also weighed in on how this fire will significantly affect the delivery of justice in Guyana.
“The greatest singular blow against the criminal justice system just occurred in the lost of the Brickdam Police Station,” Minister Benn expressed.
“There were large number of computers that were there, and supporting system for us to have a significant advancement in the way we handle records, the way we respond to issues, the way were able to discern what is happening in respect of persons who come before the courts…the first contact is with the police and through the recording of the police to the courts. So, the police prosecutions office, the information they get from the CID, all that has been lost; a tremendous lost and it represents a significant challenge,” he added.