The Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom continue to provide assistance to the criminal justice system in Barbados by supporting the introduction of national case file standards.
Over 400 officers of the Barbados Police Service (BPS) will participate in training workshops on a new filing system that will improve the quality and content of criminal case files submitted by the police to prosecutors.
Standardised case files improve the ability of the police and prosecutors to prosecute cases in a timely and efficient manner and ensure that a case can be managed and presented in a coherent and professional manner at trial. Standardizing criminal case file management is expected to reduce delays in the hearing of criminal matters and increase public confidence in the criminal justice system.
Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at US Embassy Bridgetown Reggie Singh applauded the initiative stating that “The Criminal Justice Reform Project seeks to identify solutions that lead to more effective criminal justice systems in the region. This practical training will result in more organised and comprehensive files submitted by the police to prosecutors, who will be able to prepare cases more thoroughly to address serious crime.”
The National Case File Standards, were jointly produced by the US/UK Criminal Justice Reform Project and the Regional Security System (RSS).
The first workshop took place on January 12, 2023 at the Regional Police Training Centre, where facilitators Sirah Abraham, Criminal Justice Advisor to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and Major Kerry Waterman of the RSS trained senior officers on the concepts of early evidential reviews, file building, and case management. Training is expected to continue next week and will include a ‘train the trainer’ component to ensure that the initiative is sustainable and fully embedded within the BPS and among other key criminal justice actors.
Tom Hines, Head of Political & Communications Team at the British High Commission welcomed the introduction of the standards and thanked the officers for their commitment to improving the criminal justice system in Barbados.
He stated, “The implementation of these standards will have a positive impact on the criminal justice system. They will not only increase in the number of well-prepared and well-compiled files originating from the police but also improve the quality of standards of prosecuting serious crime”. Erwin Boyce, Deputy Commissioner, declared the training open and added that the introduction of case standards is critical to witness protection and ensuring public confidence in the Barbados Police Service.
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