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An Encounter with Suspects in Police Cells

This month, I was introduced to a practical area of operation in the criminal justice system. I visited Area 3 Model and Lingadzi Police Stations during a lay visit:

“A lay visit is an external mechanism comprising a group of people duly appointed to make announced and unannounced visits to persons who are in police custody. It is recognised as important element, amongst others, of broader efforts to promote police oversight, and ensure the protection of the rights of persons detained in police custody. Its objectives are; to observe an comment and report on the conditions under which persons are detained at police stations; secondly, to observe the operation and implementation in practice of constitutional, international, statutory, or other rules governing the welfare of persons detained at police stations., with a view to ensuring the observance by police officers of the human rights of the detained persons and securing greater public understanding and confidence in policing matters.”

It was my first encounter with suspects under police custody. I screened a total of 15 suspects with the help of a police officer who helped me translate what the suspects were saying into English because majority of the suspects in the two stations…


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