St Anne’s MP Adrian White.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
WHILE urging for an aggressive push to remove illegal guns from the streets of New Providence, St Anne’s MP Adrian White said the law must be amended so that police can make arrests without formal complaints from victims of crime.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, the leader of opposition business added that his constituency has been marred by crime leaving people in the community uncertain about what to expect next from criminals.
He was one of several members of Parliament who made contributions to several amendments yesterday that will allow simultaneous visual and oral presentations in courts by virtual means by all parties involved in a trial. There was also an amendment debated that disallows the publication of juror addresses during the selection process for juries among other things.
“On reflection I am going to share with this honourable House a time when in the evenings we would go to sleep and wake the next day to the report of a shooting or a death occurring in the early morning hours after we had gone to sleep,” Mr White said.
“Those days have transformed into what we now see where we have shootings in broad daylight, gang members blasting gang members, and horrifically most recently women shooting women. They say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I say get the guns off the street. I say that we should go into every yard, every building, every home and get them all.
“People found in possession of an illegal weapon can be charged or not charged. Get the guns. Illegal substances and other materials found during the raids can be confiscated with no charges. Just get the guns.”
He continued: “Two young men were almost killed in my constituency Sunday evening on April 3. Bullets snapped away like the sound of a BPL transformer sparking off. The two young men were rushed to hospital by private vehicle - one with his intestines bulging out and from that incident two lives have been shattered, two families have been devastated and the community is in fear not knowing what to expect next.”
He said his constituency office had also been damaged through crime.
“Until our laws empower our police officers to arrest criminals without a formal complaint from the victim, we’re swinging at justice with two hands tied behind our backs.
“There is a fear imposed on the victims of crimes that is so severe it is crippling our judicial system. When a victim of a crime has to make a complaint in order for justice to be met, crime has a licence to go free.
“The moment a victim cannot take any more than what they have been subjected to and fear forces their withdrawal from making a complaint, crime is free. We don’t expect a perfect society where there is no crime, but we expect a protected society where the victim’s role in justice is exasperated.”