New laws taking bite out of crime

A package of new, recently passed, crime cracking legislation has strong teeth, said RCIP Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis.

Mr. Ennis told a press briefing on Monday that the new legislation was just the first part of the menu and that he was sure more would follow.

Legislation in respect of asset forfeiture was expected so the police could ‘go after people and their ill gotten gains,’ he said.

The police wanted to raise the public’s awareness of the law, said Mr. Ennis.

Some of the criminals already seemed clued-up about them, he said.

A recent search of a suspect vehicle was carried out and copies of the new legislation were found inside, he told the briefing.

Training seminars were being conducted for the RCIP and it would be made sure that the laws were applied effectively, he said.

Outlining some of the new legislation, Mr. Ennis said the Penal Code placed restrictions on certain weapons. He could see no reason why people should be carrying things like machetes, baseball bats and knives in places of entertainment.

The people they were going after were those such as gang members and, for the first time, there was a definition of gang in the law, he said.

Bullet proof vests were also covered in the law and to possess such an item would require the written consent of the Commissioner of Police, he said.

Included in the wide array of new legislation are amendments to the Evidence Law, the Prison Law and the Firearms Law.

Mr. Ennis also used the briefing to introduce the latest crime statistics.

The total of ‘major crimes’ in the month of October was 162, as compared to 138 in September.

Assaults were up from 29 in September to 41 in October and the number of offences of theft was up by 12 in the same period.

A total of 262 people were arrested for offences during the month of October.