Cop warned for detaining minor without charge

The Chief Magistrate yesterday reprimanded and warned a female police officer for keeping a minor in custody for more than 72 hours without charge.

The youngster, who lived in a state-owned home, was arrested and spent six days in police custody on an abusive language charge.

Three of these days were spent at the Prashad Nagar police station, where the female officer is stationed. The remaining days were spent at the Grove Police Station.

In an attempt to justify her actions, the officer explained that transportation had been unavailable to bring the defendant to court. She added that contact had been made with several persons on providing alternate care for the youth. However, these requests were denied and the teenager remained with the police.

However, Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry admonished the officer, emphasising the fact that the defendant’s constitutional rights had been denied.

Despite apologies from the officer, the magistrate stressed that saying sorry was not enough.

The threatening language matter is scheduled to be heard again. In the meantime, the adolescent will spend time in the care of another state-owned home.

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