Police urge to community not to withdraw charges

Photo courtesy of Medical Daily.

IN a recent event of abuse, where a Bellavista father killed a five-year-old boy, the withdrawal of the charges played a big role.

The father, who is a drug addict, was arrested in December last year for assaulting the then four-year-old boy, however, a family member later withdrew the charges and he was released.

Read: Man accused of killing five year old remains behind bars

Booysens Police communication officer, Capt Lorraine van Emmerik put some of the facts into perspective about the withdrawal of the case.

Also Read: Five year old dies after alleged parental abuse

She said the complainant is the only person who can withdraw charges. In this case, the person who had opened the case in December is the one who put in a statement to withdraw the charges.

When the COURIER asked her whether they (police) can continue with the case after it has been withdrawn, she said: “Yes the state can continue with a case if a complainant withdraws the charges and we feel that the case must carry on. The complainant in this case then becomes ‘the state’. The severity of the case is taken into consideration.”

The COURIER also spoke to Alberton’s Lt Col Gerrit de Filette about this issue. He said the withdrawal of the charges has a psychological effect on the perpetrator which in turn the perpetrator can continue to do what he/she was arrested for.

“This can be avoided, only if the complainants do not withdraw the charges in the first place. People turn to continue to do what they were arrested for after the withdrawal. That is why I always tell people once you opened a case, continue with it. Remember when you made the initial statement to the police, you signed that everything you said is true, then you cannot at a later stage come and say otherwise.

“Especially cases involving women and children we encourage the complainants to continue with the case. Children need to be protected as they cannot protect themselves. The suspects need to be arrested and appear in court. Personally, I will not allow any charges to be withdrawn after being laid,” he said.

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Lucky Thusi
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