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Anger over ankle tag shortage

Residents accused of crimes could be spending Christmas in a jail cell instead of at home due to a shortage of tracking devices.

Some defendants appearing in court who could wear an electronic tag as part of their bail conditions are in Westgate Correctional Facility because none of the devices, usually worn on the ankle, are available.

The sister of a prisoner contacted The Royal Gazette and claimed that her brother was being held in custody because there were no electronic tags available for him to wear so he could be remanded and monitored.

She said her brother had been taken into custody on October 8, and that they paid his $25,000 bail.

“He has a young son and wanted to be home for Christmas,” said the sister, who asked not to be named. “If they've been paid [his bail], they should release him.”

She said that after visiting her brother yesterday she still had no idea when a device would be available.

“They don't even know whether they are in and I don't think that's fair,” she added.

She said she was initially told that her brother would receive a device before Christmas, but that this now seemed highly unlikely.

She is appealing to politicians in an attempt to shed light on the issue, having been unable to get answers from any of the departments she had contacted.

In court on Monday, Vain Waldron, 49, of Pembroke, applied to have his bail conditions amended so that he could be released from prison while he awaits a trial date.

But he was told by Crown Prosecutor Takiyah Burgess that no electronic monitoring devices could be found.

Magistrate Nicole Stoneham said that he should resubmit his application once a device became available. Mr Waldron has been in custody since September 10.

His latest trial date had to be postponed because the Crown was not ready to proceed.

Yesterday, Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo ordered two men accused of trespassing and theft to be fitted with the tags but none were available.

The Royal Gazette requested comment from Court Services but no response has yet been received.

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Published December 19, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 19, 2014 at 1:12 am)

Anger over ankle tag shortage

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