THE EDITOR: Last November I was pulled over by police issuing tickets in Aranguez.
Fifteen minutes later, an officer came over and asked what I was stopped for? I told him I wasn’t sure.
He inquired from other officers and said it was for “driving without a seatbelt.” I insisted I was wearing my seatbelt.
The officer said they had CCTV footage, which I requested to see. I was ignored and issued a ticket.
I went to court to defend myself as I was certain the police didn’t have any CCTV footage as claimed.
To my dismay, I realised that few policemen show up in court for traffic cases.
This led to the magistrate dismissing many matters in the Third to Fifth Courts that day. Shockingly, even driving under the influence of alcohol cases had to be dismissed.
On my third appearance in court, my own matter was dismissed, the prosecuting policeman embarrassingly unable to offer any explanation for the non-appearance of his colleagues.
I now have to ask: are the police issuing tickets they have no intention of defending in court?
This results in a tremendous waste of resources, both time and money, by all involved. In particular, I __ and no doubt others similarly ticketed __ had to take a few days off from work to seek justice. And surely, the court has better things to do than waste time.
Clearly, the relevant authorities must know this. So why haven’t they done something about it? I am asking that this entire system be immediately reviewed and a realistic alternative found.
The police need to be held accountable for their non-appearance, as we the alleged offender faces fines and jail time.
Maybe a night court can work. But we would still need police who are willing to do their jobs.
, Maracas Valley