Ankle monitor shortage raises alarm
An apparent shortage of electronic monitoring devices aimed at tracking those who are facing criminal charges is not unusual, according to the Ministry of National Security.
But a spokeswoman for the ministry would not comment on whether any of the devices were available.
The lack of monitors has been brought to light during recent court cases. Defendants have been ordered to wear the devices as part of their bail conditions, but have had to be remanded into custody because of a shortage.
“At any given time, there are periods when devices are not available,” the ministry spokeswoman said.
“Electronic monitoring is used by the courts, the police and the Parole Board, and is an essential tool within the criminal justice system.
“The grant of bail in such circumstances is a matter for the courts or the police respectively.
“The devices in use have not had any issues of damage or been otherwise rendered inoperable in over 18 months.”
Dujon Reid-Anderson, 28, was granted an application to change his bail conditions when he appeared at Magistrates' Court yesterday.
Mr Reid-Anderson was charged on December 8 with perverting the course of justice during a Supreme Court trial, along with Kamal Worrell, 34, and Devon Hewey, 26.
His bail was set at $10,000, he was required to wear an electronic monitoring device and was ordered not to leave the Island.
“I've been locked up for two weeks now because no ankle bracelets are available,” Mr Reid-Anderson said.
He suggested that his bail be raised to $20,000 and said that he would visit Hamilton Police Station on a daily basis so that he could be released from custody.
Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo granted his application and ordered Mr Reid-Anderson to report to the police on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 6am and 8pm.
“He can be released and then fitted with an electronic monitoring device when it becomes available,” Mr Tokunbo said.
Almost two weeks ago, Vain Waldron, a 49-year-old from Pembroke, was remanded into custody after the denial of an application to amend his bail conditions while he awaited a trial date.
He was told by Crown Prosecutor Takiyah Burgess that none of the devices could be found and 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 had not been ready to proceed.
The sister of an accused man, who wished not to be named, also contacted The Royal Gazette and claimed that her brother was being held in custody because there were no tags available.
She said that her brother had been remanded into custody on October 8 even though the family had offered to put up his $25,000 bail.