US and UK Governments provide equipment to assist vulnerable witnesses
The Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom continue to support the criminal justice system in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Criminal Justice Advisor to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Sirah Abraham, recently handed over technical equipment worth EC$130,000 to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines funded by the US/UK Criminal Justice Project.
The donation, including computers, scanners, and printers, 2 cameras and associated equipment, a PA system with noise cancelling headsets, and an Interview Recorder (to facilitate the recording of evidentiary statements and voice modulation for anonymous witnesses) was received by the Director of Public Prosecutions Sejilla McDowall.
Ms. McDowall explained that the recently launched National Prosecution Service (NPS), which centralizes and streamlines the operations of the DPP and police prosecutors, had been severely limited by a lack of updated technical equipment. The donated equipment will allow the NPS to execute its functions more effectively. The DPP will use the equipment to facilitate appearances by prosecutors in matters being heard remotely and receive live evidence from overseas witnesses. In addition, the ability to record witness statements will lead to a significant improvement in the treatment of vulnerable witnesses.
Ms. McDowall expressed gratitude for the generous support from the US/UK Criminal Justice Project and indicated that the equipment will accelerate the introduction of modern processes in the criminal justice systems in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and increase the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system.