Friday, September 20, 2013

Police Complaints Authority Probes Strip Search by Tobago Officers

Carla Batson-Orr is suing the Division of Education,
Youth Affairs and Sport (DEYAS)
after she said she was forced to undergo a strip search. 

photo courtesy express
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is investigating the circumstances surrounding the strip search of Carla Batson-Orr, a monitoring and evaluation officer at the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

This was disclosed in a letter to Martin George and Company, which is representing Batson-Orr in the matter. The letter to attorney George states: “The Police Complaints Authority acknowledges receipt of your correspondence, dated September 12. The PCA will review the contents of your complaint, and revert to you soonest.” The letter was signed by the PCA’s senior legal officer, Lisa-Marie Robertson.

On September 9, Batson-Orr, a mother of five, was stripped of her clothing at an office of the Education Division, in search of a computer flash drive that went missing a few days before.

According to George, the action was authorised by administrator of the Division of Education, Allison Lawrence, who was on the compound at the time of the incident. 

Batson-Orr was forced to remove her clothing, squat and a cavity search performed on her person by two female police officers, in search of the missing flash drive. Since the incident, the administrator wrote a report on the matter, which she submitted to the Secretary of the Division, Gary Melville.

Details of the report have not been revealed to date and no apology has been issued by the Division to Batson-Orr. The Division of Education wrote to Martin George and Company yesterday, stating acknowledgement of the correspondence, adding that the matter is now in the hands of the THA’s legal representative on how to proceed. 

The letter was also copied to THA Chief Secretary Orville London, legal adviser Alvin Pascal and Education Division administrator Lawrence. In the wake of last week’s strip search, Batson-Orr’s fellow employees took protest action, wearing black and armed with gloves and placards during two days of lunch-time demonstrations.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in Tobago Heflin George said investigations continue into the matter.

Source: trinidadexpress

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