Police arrest and charge two under new gang law

Basseterre Police Station & Police Headquarters, St. Kitts

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 24TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Police have made their first arrests under recent Gang (Prohibition and Prevention) Act 2011.

Joel Phillip of Shadwell Housing and Vernon Elliott of St. Johnston were arrested on Friday and charged for the offences of being a member of a gang and preventing a person from leaving membership of a gang. Both face between 10 and 25 years in prison if convicted.

Both have been charged under Section 3 (2) and (6).

Section 3 (2) states that any person who (a) forms or attempts to form a gang; (b) is or attempts to become a member of a gang or (c) in order to gain an unlawful benefit, professes to be a member of a gang when in fact he or she is not, whether by telling anyone that he or she is a member of a gang or otherwise suggesting to anyone that he or she is a member of a gang; commits an offence and shall be on liable conviction to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.

Section 6 states a person who, whether by coercion or otherwise, prevents or attempts to prevent a person who is a member of a gang from leaving, that person commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment , to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years.

The Gang (Prohibition and Prevention) Act was passed unanimously passed by the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly on 2nd September 2nd 2011 and assented to by His Excellency the Governor General September 22nd 2011.

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