• September 24th, 2020

Word On The Block by the Namibian Police - Understanding the use of handcuffs by the police

On several occasions, the Namibian Police Force has encountered incidents which involve suspect(s) or accused person(s) resisting an arrest or to be handcuffed. Many questions pertaining to the use of handcuffs or handcuffing suspects or accused persons have arisen in numerous events of police duties.

The  Criminal Procedure Act, Act 51 of 1977, makes provision that if a person commits or is suspected to  commit  an offence referred to in Schedule I and II or any other offence including  attempts to escape, such a person must be handcuffed , according to the dictates of circumstances, for safe custody. 

A police officer would thus make use of handcuffs during arrests, transportation or the escort of suspects or accused persons to and from places such as the charge office, court, medical facilities or to any other place for whatever reason, and it is only when such a person is returned to a place of safe custody should handcuffs be removed.

It is important to note that, handcuffing a person is mainly a matter of discretion by the police officer and dependent on a variety of circumstances, such as the place where the suspect or accused person is, the character of the suspect or accused person and, or the reputation and behaviour of such a person. However, the police officer is the custodian of the arrested person and shall take all reasonable precautions to prevent the escape of such a person. When a person becomes unmanageable, it is necessary to tie such a person’s feet together to control him or her and without hesitation. 

Therefore, it must be understood that; for the police to curb escapes of arrested persons from police custodians, any person who is detained or under the police custody in respect of any offence shall be handcuffed as circumstances may require.

Staff Reporter
2020-03-11 07:12:11 | 6 months ago

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