The RCIPS says it’s found some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to battling with outstanding warrants and court summons.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kurt Walton says it’s all thanks to changes to Cayman’s Criminal Procedure Code.
Just over 4700 court summons were issued for 2018 to date.
Prior to 1 January, it would have been up to the RCIPS to execute them, but not anymore.
“The amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code has made it more efficient and certainly more effective,” Mr. Walton said.
Before January summons was the sole responsibility of the police and with the volume being churned out by the courts the Deputy Commissioner said it became a burden on resources. Now the Court bailiffs handle the summons.
“We would have to share those summons out to some of the districts and it would then take away the focus of those officers from mainstream policing, basic policing out there, dealing with the community needs to looking at serving summons because it was just too many summons for the number of officers in the Process department,” he explained.
Now the Process department mainly deals with outstanding warrants and while DCP Walton said those are down from in the thousands, there’s still a lot on his officers’ plates.
“We are in a position now where we can shift our focus on the execution of those warrants. We still average about 20 to 25 warrants a week from the court,” he added.
Mr. Walton said public officers are now issued with summons via email and that has also helped to streamline the process. But losing the email in the spam folder won’t stop a warrant for non-appearance.
“Well certainly if someone fails to turn up in court when they have been issued a summons, when someone fails to turn up the court, under the law, still have that obligation to issue or they may issue a warrant for that person’s arrest. But they would obviously look at the circumstances for that,” DCP Walton said.
Mr. Walton said his officers have served 1800 summons for 2018 and currently there are 125 warrants to be executed.
If you may be uncertain about outstanding court matters you should visit the Criminal Registry Office at the Judicial administration building in George Town.