British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

Victims of crime can't discontinue a case, only the DPP can - Scatliffe-Esprit

Victims of crime can't discontinue a case, only the DPP can - Scatliffe-Esprit

The recently-appointed Director of Public Prosecutions, Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit has outlined the proper procedures that residents who intend to discontinue criminal matters before the courts should follow.

Scatliffe-Esprit said in a media release that only the Director of Public Prosecutions can discontinue criminal proceedings.

“Even if a victim no longer wishes to proceed with a matter, it does not mean that the matter will be automatically discontinued,” she stated.

The DPP explained that victims of crime who intend to discontinue their matter are required to issue a statement to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.

That statement, according to the DPP, should explain why the victim no longer wishes to continue with the criminal proceedings and must also declare that the decision was one made entirely by themself.

Once the statement is completed, Scatliffe-Esprit said it would then be submitted for consideration and depending on the nature of the case, the victim may have to appear in court to issue a sworn statement under oath regarding their wish to discontinue.

Not all cases are discontinued

The DPP’s Office further said that not all cases will be discontinued solely on the basis that a victim wishes not to proceed.

It said that cases involving domestic violence, harm to children, sexual offences, serious assaults, and offences against the pursuit of justice will not be discontinued on that basis.

The reminder to the public of the proper procedures to follow comes after Scatliffe-Esprit said a number of victims of crimes were sending correspondence directly to her office asking for their matters to be discontinued.

She also said that victims of crimes were also attempting to discontinue their cases by informing investigating officers of their decision.


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